I planted some laurel in a container last year. Now it's in its first Spring season in the container and it seems to be doing mostly really well. In an unusually warm Spring it has rapidly generated a lot of new, green growth on the top. As a novice gardener, I was very pleased!

But in the last few weeks, I've noticed that the lower leaves seem to be turning yellow, with brown spotted edges. I've picked off several leaves but the problem is spreading.

Yellow laurel leaves with brown edges

I'm worried that it's something serious. What is it, and is there anything that I can do before the whole plant gets affected?

1 Answer 1


You don't say which laurel it is - note that 'laurel' is a common name and may be used for cherry laurel (Prunus), spotted laurel (*Aucuba)** or even bay laurel (Laurus nobilis). Your laurel most closely resembles a Prunus variety, possibly Prunus laurocerasus of some variety,but there are no small or dwarf versions of this plant except for the relatively small P. Otto Luyken, and yours is not that one.

These are large shrubs, and whilst they may be alright in a container for a year or possibly two, after that they need a lot more root room in order to grow properly, so the problem you're having is likely to simply be that it needs to be out of the container and transplanted into either a larger one on its own where it will do better for a while, or planted in the ground.

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