The Q&A Archives: Dwarf English Laurel

Question: This Spring, I planted two small Dwarf English Laurels, which should grow to approx 6 ft wide and 4 ft tall on either side of my back porch. I really like this shrub as an evergreen in my mostly tall, old oak neighborhood. I would like to use these in another part of my yard for hedge. I read this specimen is a slow-grower. How slow? I want to gain privacy around my back yard patio and arbor area, but feel this specimen may take too long to become a good sized hedge. Could you suggest a faster growing evergreen alternate very similar to the size and looks of the laurel for my area of the country?

Answer: Slow is pretty slow when you want a screen in a hurry, say maybe up to six inches per year once established. This is true for most of the quality broadleafed evergreens. You might find a rhododendron you like or possibly a camellia or holly with a fairly similar look and size but they too will be in about that range of non-speed. Sometimes in this type of situation a trellis installation or fencing will be more satisfactory for screening and then you can soften the look with container plants in the summer or grow a vine on it. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension may have some additional suggestions, too. Good luck with your project!

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