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Along with the tulip, the laurel cherry is one of the first exotic plants that was introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages and has always been used as a hedge in gardens, parks and on roadsides. The rose family is known for its fast growth and hardiness down to -20°C, which makes it perfect for German gardens. If you want to buy a cherry laurel, you should know about the growth rate and height before you buy it.

Bay cherry - species

Laurel cherry, as tall as it is wide

Also incorrectly referred to as laurel cherry, Prunus laurocerasus is characterized by an excessive growth that not only stretches towards the sky. The wood is considered to be one of the few hedges that you can actually watch growing and reach dimensions of up to twelve meters in their tree form over several years. During growth, the width of the cherry laurel is based on the height and can therefore quickly cover large areas if it is not trimmed. The final height of the rose plant differs from variety to variety.

Caucasica (Narrow-leaved cherry laurel)

  • over 500 centimeters

Rotundifolia (Large-leaved cherry laurel)

  • over 500 centimeters

Angustifolia (Portuguese cherry laurel)

  • about 350 centimeters


  • about 500 centimeters


  • about 200 centimeters

Otto Luyken (Wide-growing cherry laurel)

  • maximum 120 centimeters

Genolia (pillar cherry laurel)

  • over 350 centimeters


  • about 200 centimeters

hostelii (upright cherry laurel)

  • 350 centimeters

Mount Vernon

  • 35 centimeters (one of the smallest cherry laurels)

These varieties are among the best-known and most frequently encountered laurel cherries that can be found in Germany and survive the winter without any problems. It should be noted that these heights can easily be exceeded, especially with Caucasica, the large-leaved cherry laurel and Novita, if maintenance is suspended and the hedges start to overgrow. Then they start to sprout in all directions and also change from a classic hedge to their tree form with one or more trunks. Some specimens of unconfirmed species in Europe could reach heights of 1,180 centimeters and form multiple trunks.

Notice: This is just a small selection of the cherry laurel varieties. Since the plant is easy to grow, there are numerous cultivated forms at different heights.


How fast does cherry laurel grow?

Laurel cherries grow really vigorously and the types that are offered on the market are those that have fast growth times. This is mainly due to the fact that laurel cherries have always been used for delimitation in horticulture and therefore the strongly sprouting varieties were used. But there are also special breeds such as Low'n Green and Otto Luyken, which are designed for wider growth. Each of the species mentioned has its very own growth and there are clear differences, especially in terms of speed. The general growth rate of the typical commercially available varieties is between 25 and 50 centimeters per year.


What does expulsion mean?

There are various rates of growth rate found in cherry laurel that will determine how quickly it will reach its final height. Since laurel cherries only sprout very little after reaching their actual height and need decades to gain more meters, the actual sprout determines when the rose plant reaches this state. The expulsion speeds are listed below.

  • very strong: Fully grown within a few years and continuing to sprout
  • strong: fully grown within a few years and then sprout weaker
  • medium strong: takes longer to reach full size, then continues to sprout
  • weak: takes a long time, continues to sprout weakly after reaching full height or width
  • small amount: takes several years to reach height, after which growth switches to feeding the plant

Tip: From the names you can see how long it takes for the cherry laurel to reach full size. This also means that the stronger the shoot, the more often the plant has to be cut so that it doesn't get completely out of control.

growth habit

From Caucasica

Caucasica is one of the classic cherry laurel species that can be found in Germany and is popular because of its vigorous growth. Their growth is described as follows.

  • 50 to 70 centimeters per year in ideal soil conditions, 25 to 50 typically
  • strong shoot
  • Growth width: 80 to 120 centimeters
  • Leaves are narrow and pointed

From Rotundifolia

The large-leaved cherry laurel is very similar to the Caucasica in growth behavior, but presents itself a little differently.

  • about 55 to 65 centimeters a year in good conditions
  • strong shoot
  • Growth width: 200 centimeters
  • broader leaves than the narrow-leaved cherry laurel, also more rounded

From Angustifolia

In comparison, the Portuguese cherry laurel is a bit smaller and also grows more slowly, so it can be pruned very easily.

  • 20 to 40 centimeters a year
  • medium budding
  • Growth width: 120 to 150 centimeters
  • leaves small and close together

Growth form of Novita

Novita is one of the most original laurel cherry varieties and impresses with its lush green leaves and the good effect as a hedge. She has the following properties.

  • 50 to 70 centimeters a year without any problems
  • very strong shoot
  • Growth width: up to 200 centimeters
  • Leaves are similar to rotundifolia, only the shade is darker and more saturated

From Etna

Etna is a variety that, in contrast to the previously mentioned laurel cherries, remains really small and typically continues to grow more slowly after two meters. For this reason, it is often used for higher hedge plantings. The growth is shown as follows.

  • 10 to 30 centimeters a year
  • medium budding
  • Growth width: 150 to 200 centimeters
  • industrial
  • broad, thick leaves with bronze colored shoots

Tip: Industry hardiness means that strains like Etna are extremely durable and do well in human environments. That said, industrial-hardy species you can grow yourself if you live on the busy main road in a big city or in dry areas.

growth form of Diana

With Diana, a variety is offered that does not do well in urban areas, but has no problem with drought, heat and cold. If Diana is not pruned, the plant will grow into a rounded shrub that is the same width as height.

  • 30 to 50 centimeters a year
  • medium budding
  • Growth width: 200 centimeters
  • Leaves like Rotundifolia, only darker
  • bronze-colored shoots with less intensity than Etna

growth form of Genolia

Genolia is extremely interesting because this cherry laurel doesn't spread that much. For this reason it is also called pillar cherry laurel, as it grows densely and appears like a pillar. The growth is as follows.

  • 15 to 30 centimeters a year
  • weak shoot
  • Growth width: 100 centimeters
  • grows slender and upright, requires little trimming
  • leathery, dark leaves, medium-sized and narrow

From Herbergii

Herbergii is one of the hardiest varieties of laurel cherry and is therefore also suitable for the coolest regions in Germany. It is also very undemanding and can be used anywhere. The growth is as follows.

  • 30 centimeters a year
  • medium budding
  • Growth width: 120 to 150 centimeters
  • extremely small, thick leaves

Growth habit of Otto Lyuken

The cherry laurel Otto Lyuken was named after the gardener of the same name from Siegen, who worked in Weener throughout his life. The extremely low-growing cherry laurel is twice as wide as it is high and is therefore very attractive in all gardens that require low hedges or accents. The growth is shown here as follows.

  • 10 to 20 centimeters a year
  • medium strength
  • Growth width: 250 centimeters
  • slender and small leaves, medium green

From Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is a variety that is extremely hardy and also one of the smallest laurel cherry varieties. It is used exclusively as a ground cover and is an interesting comparison to the otherwise tall varieties of the plant species Prunus laurocerasus. The growth is shown as follows.

  • 10 to 15 centimeters per year
  • very little sprouting
  • Growth width: 100 centimeters
  • Leaves dark green and glossy
  • dense branching

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