Comprehensive Guide to Growing Skip Cherry Laurel Shrubs

Comprehensive Guide to Growing Skip Cherry Laurel Shrubs

May 10, 2024

Skip Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis'), often simply called Skip Laurels, are a popular evergreen shrub known for their dense foliage and ability to form a quick hedge or privacy screen. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, understanding how to care for and utilize Skip Cherry Laurels in your landscape can transform your outdoor space. Here's everything you need to know about growing Skip Cherry Laurel Shrubs.

Hardiness Zones and Ideal Planting Conditions

Skip Cherry Laurel is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, thriving in regions that experience relatively milder winters. This shrub prefers well-drained, fertile soil but is adaptable to various soil types, including clay.

The Cherry Laurel can grow in full sun to partial shade, though it performs best in areas where it can receive some afternoon shade, particularly in the warmer end of its zone range. Planting in early fall or spring allows the shrub to establish roots without the stress of extreme temperatures.

close up view of shiny evergreen leaves on skip cherry laurel hedge

Growth Rates and Pruning Practices

One of the appealing aspects of Skip Cherry Laurel is its relatively fast growth rate, typically growing 2 to 3 feet per year until maturity. This rapid development makes it an excellent choice for those who desire quick results in landscape design.

Pruning is best done in early spring before new growth starts or immediately after flowering to maintain its shape and promote denser foliage. Skip Laurel tolerates heavy pruning well, so don't hesitate to shape it to fit your space.

Using Cherry Laurels in the Landscape

Skip Cherry Laurels are highly versatile in landscape design. They can be used for mass plantings, as a privacy screen, or as a backdrop for other garden plants. Their dense, glossy green leaves provide a lush, continuous appearance, making them an excellent choice for hedging. Furthermore, their ability to absorb noise makes them ideal for planting along roads or between properties.

toxic berries on skip cherry laurel shrub

Toxicity of Berries

While Skip Cherry Laurels are an attractive addition to any landscape, it’s important to note that the berries they produce are toxic to humans and animals if ingested.

The berries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release cyanide when chewed. Care should be taken in gardens frequented by children and pets.

Deer Resistance

deer eating grass

Skip Cherry Laurels are generally considered deer-resistant, making them a practical choice for landscapes prone to deer activity. While no plant is entirely deer-proof, the foliage of Skip Cherry Laurel tends to be less palatable to deer than many other shrubs. This resistance is likely due to the texture and compounds within the leaves, which deer do not prefer.

However, when food is scarce, particularly in harsh winters, deer may still browse on these shrubs if other more preferred food sources are unavailable. Therefore, Skip Cherry Laurels can significantly reduce the likelihood of deer damage in your garden if you live in an area with high deer populations.

skip cherry laurel flowers

Hedge Suitability

Skip Cherry Laurel makes an outstanding hedge. Their fast growth and ability to withstand frequent pruning allow gardeners to shape it into a formal or informal hedge, depending on the desired aesthetic. Its evergreen nature ensures privacy year-round, making it a practical and attractive choice for many gardeners.

Designing with Skip Laurels

When designing a garden with Skip Cherry Laurels, choosing companion plants that complement their deep, glossy green foliage can enhance your landscape's overall aesthetic and health. Ideal companions are those that thrive under similar conditions—moderate to partial shade and well-drained soil.

For a layered garden design, consider underplanting with shade-tolerant perennials such as Hostas, which offer a variety of leaf colors and textures that contrast beautifully against the dense foliage of the laurels.

skip cherry laurels planted with hostas, black eyed susans and day lilies in front of a house

Ferns, with their delicate fronds, also make a perfect match, adding a different texture and calming green tones that blend seamlessly. Astilbes, with their feathery flower spikes, introduce a soft vertical element and a splash of color during their blooming season, creating a visually appealing understory.

For a more structured garden design, pairing Skip Cherry Laurels with other shrubs that enjoy similar growing conditions can create a cohesive and low-maintenance landscape.

Boxwoods are a classic choice, offering a fine-textured foliage contrast and the ability to shape into precise formal hedges that complement the more relaxed form of the laurels. Rhododendrons and Azaleas can also accompany the Skip Cherry Laurels effectively, providing spectacular floral displays in the spring and a range of leaf colors and patterns.

These combinations offer year-round interest and support a healthy garden ecosystem by accommodating diverse planting, which can improve soil health and deter pests. By choosing the right plants to accompany your Skip Cherry Laurels, you can achieve a lush, layered garden that thrives in both aesthetics and functionality.

skip cherry laurel shrubs planted in a row to grow into a hedge with proper spacing

Shop Skip Cherry Laurel Hedging Plants Online

In conclusion, Skip Cherry Laurel Shrubs are a robust, fast-growing option suitable for various landscaping needs.

These elite evergreen shrubs offer both aesthetic appeal and practicality with their glossy leaves that stay green year round and their fast-growing nature. When planting and caring for Skip Laurel, consider its light and soil preferences, and remember to handle the berries with caution due to their toxicity.

With proper care, Skip Cherry Laurel can be a beautiful and functional addition to your garden for many years! Shop these vibrant landscape plants and more on our site today and enjoy shipment directly to your doorstep!