The Q&A Archives: I Recently Planted A Line Of Laurels

Question: I recently planted a line of Laurels, 12 in all and all are 4' or more. Many of the leaaves have turned yellow and dropped. On some plants entire stems are now bear but I can see a new leaf bud growing where the old one dropped. Why are the leaves turning yellow like this. They are watered and planted in compost mixture??

Answer: Based on your description I would suspect transplant shock is at work, possibly due to a change in growing conditions such as more sun than they are accustomed to or more wind, possibly also overwatering or underwatering. These plants like a moist yet well drained soil and in some cases compost will hold more water than necessary especially if added to a heavy clay soil. Check with your finger to see that the soil is drying out before watering again since the goal is evenly moist but not sopping wet. Using several inches of organic mulch will also help maintain an even level of soil moisture and reduce the need for watering. Yet another possibility is overfertilizing; fertilizing is best done on the basis of soil tests and in any case should not be applied in excess of amounts listed on the label. These plants are not terribly heavy feeders so it is best to go lightly, particularly with nitrogen, at the transplanting phase. Good luck with your laurels.

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