Schip laurel problems

Asked July 26, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

Hello! I have several 5 ft. Schip Laurel. All flowered in the spring and have produced berries, but their leaves are now yellowing and dropping. One plant has lost about 80% of it's leaves, yet I see new bud growth on branches. They've been established 1 1/2 years and I have not watered them much during all the rain we've had. When it doesn't rain for several days I will water them when I turn on the lawn irrigation system. No pests are evident. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Kent County Delaware

1 Response

Hello, Even thought your schip laurel or cherry laurel shrubs have been in the ground 1 1/2 years, they are still becoming established in their planting site. Prunus laurocerasus prefer well drained, rich soil, and can handle a fair bit of water, but they do not like "wet feet". Sometimes there can be a fine line between adequately wet soil and excessively wet soil. We have had rains in Delaware this spring and summer that have left many soils too wet. I usually recommend watering only once a week, deeply, if there is no rain. Do not apply fertilizer, as the roots are still trying to become established and send out new feeder roots. If your plants do not recover in the next few weeks, you could submit a sample to your local county Extension office, and we could check for root rot.