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I've just planted a couple of 4 foot cherry laurel hedging plants to hide a fence that our neighbour has just put up in place of a hedge.  The plants have berries on at the moment but when I look around over here (Isle of Man), I don't see many berries on other laurels.  Does anyone know the secret to getting laurels to flower and produce berries please?


Yes, stop cutting it back into a hedge 

My big laurels flower, the laurel hedge doesn't


Why do you specifically want berries? They are poisonous.




Oh ok, so if I treat them as two separate plants and let them go their own way?  What about chopping the tops though to keep them bushy?  Do you think I'll get away with that?

Welshonion, I just like the look of them ...



I'd do a chop all round to get them bushy. Have you any idea how big a laurel is if you leave it unpruned   

I shall be (or OH will be) doing a big chop on a couple of ours this year as they're going into the electric wires along the road.

The width matches the height

  Yes, ha ha, it won't be long before we get our privacy back.  I'd read that they grow as wide as they do tall.  How long though do you think I should wait before giving them a chop all over, with them being newly planted today?


I'd nip out the ends of all the stems, not much, just a couple of leaf's worth. It will encourage it to bush out. I don't think it's too late in the season to do that. Don't be tempted to just let it go, it could end up a bit 'see through'

Buying female plants is a good way of getting berries! And yes trim them too shape! I'm removing some hedging from a clients garden that didn't have the top pruned out and they are the best part of 40 foot high at least

I'll be on to it tomorrow Nut.  Thanks for your help.

Ok Rhod, at the risk of showing my ignorance, (I'll plead that I'm a novice gardener with only a year's experience ) - how do I tell if I have a female plant????


Laurels have both male and female parts in the flowers as far as I know.

They don't come in male and female like hollies do.


PS. But if they did, the ones with berries would be the females

I was thinking aucuba japonica and not laurel, although with a little training spotting females flowers over males becomes quite simple! It's the wine clouding my wisdom! Although laurel does grow huge given a chance! 


There you go Rhod, that's what alcohol does for you. I had a wine-free night


I'd cut them back by half now


Fleurisa, I'm going to go with Nut's suggestion because it feels right from a common sense point of view but I'm interested in why you're suggesting I cut them back by half?  I've just paid £50 for two older plants so that I don't have to wait as long for them to grow, so what would be the point in chopping them in half? 

To make them bush out. At the moment they hide very little of that fence; indeed, they draw attention to it!


2 laurels?



I'll get propagating, you can be business manager Dove.

I can't do sums so you'll have to do that