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Help: Laurel bush brown, yellow, dying

194 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  RaleighBerm
Moved into the home a couple years ago and what I believe (Google search) are cherry laurels have gotten worse and worse. There's 8 of them across a pretty long row and 2 beds.

You can see the discoloration and notice the branches too.

Not sure if it's under/over watering or some other issue. These beds aren't irrigated. There's been plenty of rain this spring and I've also sprayed with a few modes of fungicides.

Any ideas? Thank you.


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Those don't look bad and you should be fine. There is plenty of new growth. The yellow and discolored leaves will drop. Cut out as much of the dead stems as you can ABOVE the new growth

What you are likely seeing is the result of the brutal cold snap that much of the country saw right before Christmas. We had something like -6 and 40 mph wind for three days where I am in zone 6. I documented it all on the thread below. Lost 10 of these myself this year. Others around here are in the same boat. I've even seen dead ones up against peoples' houses. Very few were spared. These plants are not reliably hardy in zone 6. I strongly discourage anyone from planting these in zone 6 or below.

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Thanks for your response. And your linked post is a generous supply of useful info.

Based on the pictures do you agree they are Laurels?

What's interesting is they have been in decline since at least last year when I moved in. Maybe this variety just doesn't like the weather here...
They do look like laurels. My guess is otto luyken which is a dwarf. I'm not an expert on all the different diseases of this plant but it looks like you could have shothole disease based on the holes. I don't know if that's causing the yellowing but as I said I would have guessed the yellowing is just the natural process of a plant dropping damaged or unneeded leaves from the winter.

The only other thing I can think of is they may be reacting to too much water? Is it possible you have a leak or something causing that? They don't like wet areas.

Based on your screen name, I'm guessing your in NC and zone 6? If so, you may just want to pull these out. They are more trouble than they're worth and there are plenty of other options for a location like you're showing in the first pic.
Zone 7A. But like you said that cold we had around Xmas was otherworldly.

I have considered putting something else in there that could present more color...

I'll inspect for any water leaks too.
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