We have put together here why your cherry laurel has brown or yellow leaves – as well as tips for avoiding them.
Cherry laurels ( Prunus laurocerasus ) impress all year round with their light to dark green leaves, which also offer a pleasant privacy screen in winter. But this lush green foliage only shows up when the cherry laurel is healthy and feeling good.
If the plant suffers from a disease, if it is stressed or undersupplied, this has a direct effect on the evergreen sea of leaves. The leaves then turn yellow or brown. The reasons for this are just as varied as the options for avoiding unsightly discoloration. Prevention is therefore always the best measure.
Causes of brown and yellow leaves on cherry laurel
- If the leaves of the otherwise evergreen cherry laurel turn yellow or even brown, this can be due to a variety of reasons. Whether it’s wrong to care for or disease – we provide information about the ten most common causes of yellow and brown leaves on cherry laurel.
- Although the cherry laurel is extremely tolerant of location, you should avoid waterlogging at all costs. This can occur when the soil is compacted and ventilation is insufficient. Usually, yellow leaves appear quite early after planting due to site-related waterlogging.
- A location that is too sunny combined with an insufficient water supply can also lead to yellow leaves. Sunburn then occurs, in which the leaves turn irregularly yellow. Young plants that have been raised in the greenhouse are, particularly at risk. They are not used to the intense sunlight yet. Additional dangers lurk in winter. For example, when there is a clear frost, the leaves of entire branches usually turn yellow.
- Regardless of whether there is drought stress or too much water in sandy soil, both can ultimately lead to yellow leaves. The problem with this is that the symptoms only become visible late, sometimes even when the water supply is working properly again.
- Fungal infections can also lead to yellow leaves. The shotgun or leaf spot disease, caused by the fungus Stigmina coprophilia, leads to yellow marbled leaves with holes. The shoot and tip drought caused by the fungus Monilinia laxa, in turn, leads to yellow, withered leaves.
- If the nutrient supply is not right, the green color of the leaves also diminishes. If there is a lack of nitrogen, the entire leaf – including the leaf vein – turns yellow. If there is an iron deficiency, on the other hand, the leaf turns yellow except for the leaf veins.
- A change of location when replanting or planting is pure stress for plants and can unfortunately also lead to yellow leaves.
- Cherry laurel is also very tolerant of the soil pH value, but too high a lime content in the soil inevitably leads to chlorosis (i.e. discoloration due to a lack of chlorophyll), as certain nutrients can no longer be absorbed.
- If the cherry laurel is fertilized with nitrogen again too late in the year, the newly formed shoots can no longer lignify until winter and are therefore very susceptible to frost damage, which manifests itself in the leaves turning brown.
- A cherry laurel should be cut once or twice a year. If the timing is wrong or if the leaves are damaged, this also leads to an unsightly brown color.
- If you have decided on a pot culture for your cherry laurel, you have to provide enough space, because the plants grow quickly and have deep roots. If there is too little space in the bucket, the leaves will slowly but surely turn yellow.
Bow to brown and yellow leaves on cherry laurel
In some of these cases, it is sufficient to simply cut off the yellow leaves and give the cherry laurel time to recover. But other reasons call for targeted countermeasures. The numbers listed below refer to the causes mentioned above.
- If the soil is heavily compacted, the plant is dug up and half of the soil is loosened with sand. Otherwise, it is sufficient to loosen the soil in the root area with a fork. Always be very careful not to damage the roots.
- You should water the plant sufficiently as soon as the surface dries out. This does not only apply to summer but also winter. Therefore, water on frost-free days in winter and shade young solitary plants with a fleece.
- Water the plant thoroughly when the top layer of soil has dried. Avoid waterlogging by laying out a drainage layer when planting and loosening the soil well.
- If you notice diseased regions, you should immediately remove them right into the healthy wood. Dispose of the plant material in the household garbage and not on the compost, otherwise, you will spread the infection throughout the garden. Young plants should also be treated with a fungicide. In the case of older plants, on the other hand, it is sufficient to spray with a more environmentally friendly sulfur preparation.
- In the event of deficiency symptoms, fertilize with a quickly available fertilizer such as our Plantura organic indoor and green plant fertilizer. You should also adjust the annual fertilization. If you have only fertilized once a year before, you should switch to fertilizing twice. Also, check the soil pH and adjust it down if necessary. This alone can mean that your cherry laurel can absorb enough iron again.
- After moving, you can initially only wait until the roots have established themselves and the yellow leaves have grown together again.
- So that the lime can be better washed out of the ground, the earth is loosened and sand is mixed in. If this does not help, the entire earth must be replaced. Mulching with acidic coniferous compost also helps to lower the soil pH value again.
- The last time is fertilized in June at the latest. In late summer, you should only fertilize with calibers to make your cherry laurel less sensitive to frost.
- It is cut before the new shoots in February or immediately after flowering. To avoid unsightly brown edges, you should also use hand scissors instead of electric ones.
- If the bucket is too small for your cherry laurel, only one thing will help, namely to repot it in a larger bucket.
Prevention is therefore still the best measure against yellow and brown leaves. That is why we have put together everything for you in special articles about the right cherry laurel care and the ideal location for the cherry laurel.