Schip Cherry Laurel
Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis'
|1 GAL 16 to 18" tall||$21.95|
|3 GAL 2 to 2.5 feet tall||$39.95|
|5 Gallon 4-5 Feet Tall||$58.95||
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Schip Laurel Evergreen Privacy Shrub
If you're looking for the perfect evergreen shrub that can be used to grow a screen or hedge, you can look no further than the Schip Laurel. Prunus laurocerasus schipkaensis is a fast-growing plant with glossy evergreen foliage. It's also a low maintenance plant that stands up to poor soil, heat, cold, and is drought tolerant while remaining one of the prettiest and most formal looking evergreens you'll ever see.
The most noticeable feature of any hedge is the appearance of its foliage. The common name, cherry laurel, hints at the resemblance of its leaves to true laurel leaves, which are beautifully oblong and glossy green. Schip Laurel leaves are similar in appearance to the bay laurel leaves used in cooking, but they are more elongated and shiny. Its green foliage is so shiny that they'll look as if they've been polished.
Schip laurels have proven themselves time after time to be a plant that can be used in about any landscape situation. Schip Laurels take all light conditions from shade to full sun. It's not often you come across a plant that can take those conditions as well as just about any soil moisture from dry to moist with no ill effects.
One of the things that draw most people to the Schip is they discover that it is disease and insect resistant which means you'll spend less time caring for these gems and more time enjoying their beauty.
Given ideal growing conditions, Schip Laurels can grow up to 2.5 feet per year! Even in a less-than-ideal environment, its height can increase by 1.5 feet each year. it reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet tall if left unpruned. Its rapid growth rate makes it one of the most useful plants for creating privacy or simply screening out unsightly areas of your yard.
The dark green leaves of Schip Laurel are thick and full. If you want your privacy hedge to form a solid wall of greenery to the ground you can "underplant" schip's with smaller, lower-growing shrubs that can be used to cover the bare bottoms of the plants. Alternatively when the hedge reaches the required height simply remove the top growth of the plant which will cause it to fill in the lower sections of the plant.
Space the smaller shrubs far enough from the base of your Skip Laurels so that the mature size of both types of plants don't touch the base so much that the smaller evergreens get lost in Skip's foliage. We call this space negative space and it is one of the fundamental rules of landscape design. Otto Luyken Laurels are a great choice for underplanting due to their slightly smaller leaves. There is just enough variation in the texture that the Otto's will differentiate themselves from their taller cousins.
Schip laurels produce clusters of fragrant white flower spikes. as the flowers fade small cherry-sized red berries are born on the spent flower spikes which add another level of interest. This is where the common name "cherry Laurel" comes from.
These are edible by humans but very sour. They are far more prized by the birds which will flock to your garden not just in the summer and fall for the berries but also in the winter.
During the winter months, schip laurels provide the perfect habitat for non-migratory songbirds which will thank you for providing the wide spreading coverage that is so much needed during the winter months.
Gardeners who live in areas where deer are prevalent will benefit from yet another attribute of the Cherry laurel. Even though hungry deer will eat just about any plant when food sources are scarce, Schip laurels tend to go untouched by deer. Schip Laurels have proven over the years of being unattractive to deer; in fact, even the hungriest of deer completely ignore them.
If a more informal look is what you're trying to achieve space Schip Laurels 5 to 6 feet apart on center. For an even a more open look, space them up 10 feet apart.
For a formal or dense hedge, space each plant only 3 to 4 feet apart. As the plants mature, their branches will overlap and they'll form a continuous solid hedge.
If you're wondering why it's called Schip Laurel or Skip Laurel, it was originally discovered growing in the Shipka Mountain Pass in Bulgaria. Over the years, "Shipka" was simply shortened to a more-easily remembered nickname Skip. it is a cultivar of the English laurel simply known as Prunus laurocerasus.