The Q&A Archives: Yellow leaves on English Laurel

Question: I planted some English Laurel last fall and they seemed to be doing fine, but today I noticed that each of the 3 plants has some yellow leaves. What do you suggest I try? FYI, I have either cedar or redwood [don't remember which] bark covering the area where they are planted. Also, about a week ago I read that strips of Downey fabric softener will sometimes deter deer; I did tie some strips onto the plants. Could this possibly be harmful? Thanks for your help.



Answer: English laurel are evergreens and as such it's normal for them to drop some of their oldest leaves during the growing season. These leaves usually turn yellow and then drop, only to be replaced by healthy new leaves. If the yellowing leaves are the oldest one, those near the center of the plant, it is a perfectly normal occurance; if the yellowing leaves are the newest leaves, it could indicate a need for fertilizer or a symptom of overly wet soils (soils with poor drainage). Hope this information sheds some light on the possible causes of yellowing leaves on your English laurel.

I, too, have heard that fabric softener sheets can repel deer. I've also heard that Lifebouy bar soap and bags of human hair will do the same thing. It won't hurt your plants, as long as you don't tie it so tight it damages the stem or branch. Hang the product 3-4' off the ground (nose-level to a deer). Best wishes with your garden!

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