Laurus nobilis: Flemish Laurel tree, maintenance - summer

The laurel starts showing its first indications of revival in April: buds start swelling. It’s often still too risky to place the plant already outdoors: try to keep it indoors for a while, as cool as possible, or put the plant at a well sheltered place. The young shoots and leaves are very sensible to possible frost temperatures. As from May on, the laurel can surely be placed outside, but still sheltered from wind.
When putting the plant outside, give it enough water, and wet the soil ball well. From now on the plant can start again its rather explosive growth, and the fancier is supposed to start taking the work in hands.

1) Fertilization
It’s best to give the plant a reserve of nutriments for the whole season. You could use slowworking wrapped nutriments. The nutriments will be released gradually.
Organic fertilizers or other slowworking fertilizers can be used as well, it’s best to supply them in 2 to 3 times. The additional fertilization is not to be supplied after half August, as the plant is then to be prepared for the coming winter. In any case, have yourself advised by a good and liable garden centre when choosing and dosing fertilizers.

2) Parasites
As always, it’s better to be sure than sorry. If the plant is well taken care off, most problems will never occur. However, if scale insect, flea or rust mite might pop up, than you can always wash the leaves with soap, after which the plant is to be well rinsed off and set in a shady location. If this does not help, you can buy a chemical or biologic product at a good garden centre.

3) Giving water
Make sure the plant is never thirsty during its growth period, as this does not help growth. If the plant is placed in a suitable pot with the possibility to get away with a surplus of water (holes in the bottom of the pot), and if the soil ball is not in too much water, it might be needed to give water daily.
The laurel plant also likes a regularly freshing up of its leaves.

Click on the picture to enlarge..

4) Pruning in summer
It’s possible that not all shoots were pruned off enough when it has been done in winter. The shoots start growing too fast in summer and even out of the mantle. When these shoots have a minimum length of (1,9 inch). They can be pruned in June (half July at the latest), leaving 3 leaves at the least. The plant will appreciate this activity and produce extra shoots, which makes the plant more compact and dense.

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