Cherry laurel problem

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edslawn
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Cherry laurel problem

Post by edslawn » September 28th, 2020, 6:46 pm

As part of the landscape project in my back yard, we planted some cherry laurels. Unfortunately, they aren't doing great. They are in part sun along our porch. I've watered them regularly and have them given each some miracle grow. Something appears to be eating them, so I applied Seven twice over a two-week interval. I'm pretty clueless with perennials, so any help is welcome...

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Cherry laurel problem

Post by MorpheusPA » September 28th, 2020, 7:13 pm

That doesn't look like insect damage (which can impact the cherry laurel even though they produce a lot of hydrogen cyanide). It looks like disease or chlorosis, but I can't tell as it's not an extreme issue. That it's dying from the tips in tends to indicate disease or a soil issue. And I'm not thrilled by the chlorosis showing on some leaves.

Check the soil. If it's wet, that's not good for CLs. They prefer an acidic, dampish soil--back off on the watering and let them dry out. That you fed is good, and Miracle-Gro is fine, it's an acidic feeding with a decent enough resource balance for shrubs.

Paradoxically, they also don't like being too dry, or being heat stressed. This summer in our area wasn't exactly what I'd call gentle...

CLs are tolerant of full sun through light shade, so that's unlikely to be too much of an issue. Part sun should be perfect for them.

Oh, and although technically "edible," never, never eat the berries or leaves. See "hydrogen cyanide" above. Death is exceptionally unlikely, but illness has been known to occur.

edslawn
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Joined: July 2nd, 2019, 9:22 pm
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Re: Cherry laurel problem

Post by edslawn » September 28th, 2020, 7:42 pm

MorpheusPA wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 7:13 pm
That doesn't look like insect damage (which can impact the cherry laurel even though they produce a lot of hydrogen cyanide). It looks like disease or chlorosis, but I can't tell as it's not an extreme issue. That it's dying from the tips in tends to indicate disease or a soil issue. And I'm not thrilled by the chlorosis showing on some leaves.

Check the soil. If it's wet, that's not good for CLs. They prefer an acidic, dampish soil--back off on the watering and let them dry out. That you fed is good, and Miracle-Gro is fine, it's an acidic feeding with a decent enough resource balance for shrubs.

Paradoxically, they also don't like being too dry, or being heat stressed. This summer in our area wasn't exactly what I'd call gentle...

CLs are tolerant of full sun through light shade, so that's unlikely to be too much of an issue. Part sun should be perfect for them.

Oh, and although technically "edible," never, never eat the berries or leaves. See "hydrogen cyanide" above. Death is exceptionally unlikely, but illness has been known to occur.
Hmmm... they went in mid-August, so they've had a rough ride. I've been giving them a good drink about once a week or so over the last month (about twice that in August). Basically, I'm holding the open hose on each one for about 10 seconds. The soil is definitely not soaked. I'm also watering with softened water (an issue that will be fixed in a few days). Could that be the problem?

(On the eating, I am a little worried about my dogs. We have a 6 month old puppy who I've been watching closely around these plants.)

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Cherry laurel problem

Post by MorpheusPA » September 28th, 2020, 8:20 pm

Yeah, softened water (excessive sodium) could certainly be an issue, as could the fact that they went in during an awful summer and during the worst month of it. Plus just before a short drought in September.

Considering all that, actually, they look great. Keep up the good work, and feed them deeply with Miracle Gro again in mid-October when temperatures drop as a "good night" feeding to turn into carbohydrates for storage over winter. If we get a winter this year. You can also feel free to throw some organics on them any time you like during the growing season, it won't set off excessive growth.

Definitely keep the dog(s) away if they show interest. Some dogs? Some dogs go for anything.

edslawn
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Re: Cherry laurel problem

Post by edslawn » September 29th, 2020, 7:06 am

MorpheusPA wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 8:20 pm
Yeah, softened water (excessive sodium) could certainly be an issue, as could the fact that they went in during an awful summer and during the worst month of it. Plus just before a short drought in September.

Considering all that, actually, they look great. Keep up the good work, and feed them deeply with Miracle Gro again in mid-October when temperatures drop as a "good night" feeding to turn into carbohydrates for storage over winter. If we get a winter this year. You can also feel free to throw some organics on them any time you like during the growing season, it won't set off excessive growth.

Definitely keep the dog(s) away if they show interest. Some dogs? Some dogs go for anything.
Got it... Thanks Morpheus!

The dogs don't seem interested so far. Here is the crew sunning themselves (Joey is the black one and only 6 month old)


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MorpheusPA
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Re: Cherry laurel problem

Post by MorpheusPA » September 29th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Ha! They're adorable!

Dogs aren't dumb and usually won't go after something dangerous...but you never know.

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