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Cherrylaurel (Prunus laurocerasus `Otto Luyken')



Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech (first published October 2018, last reviewed March 2024)


Foliage: Evergreen broadleaf Height: 4 feet

Spread: 8 feet

Shape: Spreading

The species (Prunus laurocerasus) is generally not sold in the U.S. Cultivars of cherrylaurel are low- growing with handsome glossy foliage and white flowers in spring. This species tolerates shade and is used as a border, hedge, and in mass.

Plant Needs

Zone: 6b (6a) to 9

Light: Full to partial shade to full sun

Moisture: Moist to dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay loam

pH Range: 3.7 to 7.3


Suggested uses for this plant include hedge and massing.

Planting Notes

Adapts well to sun or shade. Plant in well drained soils! Salt tolerant.


Tolerates heavy pruning and shearing.


More disease and insect resistant than other Prunus species.

Root rot can be a problem if planted in a wet or poorly drained location.


Consult local garden centers historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Prunus laurocerasus:

‘Otto Luyken’ has a distinct horizontal growth habit and is one of the most cold hardy cultivars.

`Schipkaensis' (Schipka Cherrylaurel) is a low-growing (5 feet tall) and wide spreading cultivar that is hardier (zone 5) than other cultivars.

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Publication Date

March 7, 2024

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