Why Cherry Laurel Leaves Turn Yellow or Brown? What to Do and How to Treat It?

by Kremy

Hiding a garden from prying eyes with a cherry laurel hedge is a wonderful idea! However, it happens that cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown without a reason… What causes this yellowing? Can it be prevented, and how can it be treated?

Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), also called English laurel, is an impressive shrub even in winter thanks to its evergreen leaves in varying shades of green. When the plant is healthy and thriving, its lush foliage looks fabulous and provides privacy all year round. However, sometimes the leaves of the cherry laurel turn yellow and we can’t figure out why.

Cherry Laurel Leaves Turn Yellow! What Causes Yellowing?

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown causes prevention

There are various reasons why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown. Whether it’s due to improper care, environmental stress or disease, the problem needs to be solved as soon as the first signs appear and preventive measures taken to prevent recurrence.

Wrong Watering and Sun Exposure

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown causes and solutions


Although cherry laurel is a plant that tolerates a variety of conditions, it hates standing water and that should be avoided at all costs. Excessive moisture can occur when the soil is too compact, aeration is compromised and therefore drainage is insufficient. Waterlogging is the most common reason that makes cherry laurel leaves turn yellow.

Otherwise, too much sun combined with insufficient water supply can also cause laurel leaves to turn yellow. If this is the case, the yellowing will be irregular, which is typical of plant sunburn. Young plants that have been grown in greenhouses are particularly at risk, as they are not yet accustomed to intense sunlight.

Also read: Oleander Diseases Pictures: What Do Yellow Leaves, Brown Spots or White Dots Indicate?

Yellow or Brown Leaves Due to Diseases

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown causes diseases

Fungal infections can similarly cause leaves to turn yellow or brown. For example, shot hole disease caused by the fungus Stigmina carpophila, also called Coryneum blight or shothole blight results in yellow mottled leaves with holes. Another fungus, Monilinia laxa, causes monoliosis and may in turn be the reason that laurel leaves turn yellow.

Deficiencies and Environmental Stress

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown how to treat it

If the supply of nutrients from the soil is inadequate, the green coloring of the leaves can also fade. In the event of nitrogen deficiency, the entire leaf – including the leaf vein – turns yellow. In case of iron deficiency, on the other hand, the leaf turns yellow except for the leaf veins.

Whether it’s the initial planting or a change of location, transplanting is pure stress for plants, including cherry laurel. It may also explain why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or look dull.

True, cherry laurel is very tolerant of soil pH and composition, but soil that is too calcareous will inevitably lead to chlorosis. This disease inhibits the absorption of certain nutrients, which leads to a lack of chlorophyll, from which the leaves of cherry laurel turn yellow and fall off.

Other Reasons for Yellow Cherry Laurel Leaves

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown and what to do

If you fertilize your cherry laurel later in the year with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, you will stimulate growth. However, the new shoots won’t be able to lignify until winter arrives, making them very sensitive to frost, causing browning of the leaves.

When it comes to growing cherry laurel in pots, you should always provide enough space. These woody plants grow fast and have fairly deep roots, so if their container is too narrow, they will be stressed and their leaves will slowly but surely turn yellow.

What to Do When Cherry Laurel Leaves Turn Yellow?

why cherry laurel leaves turn yellow or brown treatment tips

In most cases, simply removing the determining factor, trimming off the yellow leaves and allowing the cherry laurel to recover is enough to restore the beauty of our privacy hedge. However, if the soil is heavily compacted, you will need to loosen it and add sand. Likewise, water the plant as soon as the soil surface dries out, avoiding watering during winter frosts. When it comes to yellowing caused by fungal diseases, remove all infected parts of the plant and burn them. Then treat with an appropriate fungicide, preferably organic.




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