Sun exposure:
Dappled shade, full shade, full sun, partial shade
East facing, north facing, south facing, west facing


Acidic / Clay / Heavy / Moist / Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Cherry laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, is a dense, evergreen shrub with shiny and dark green leaves. In spring it bears upright, white flowers, followed by fruits in autumn that resemble cherries. These turn from red to black as they mature. The flowers are popular with bees and other pollinators, and birds eat the berries. Prunus laurocerasus has a reputation for being invasive in the UK and can become a thug in the garden.

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ is also known as 'compact laurel' as it only reaches a height and spread of 1m x 1.5m – it grows wider than it does high. It's typically used to create a low, dense, evergreen hedge or low maintenance ground cover. It has the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' is a low maintenance plant, suitable for growing in a range of soils and situations – ideally, grow it in moist but well-drained soil, in sun or partial shade. It doesn't need pruning, but you could trim established plants in late spring or early summer to keep them looking tidy. It's a relatively slow grower, putting on 10-20cm of growth a year.

Buy and plant Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’plants as pot-grown plants all year round, or as bare-root plants during the dormant season (November to March).

Where to buy Prunus laurocerasus

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Plant calendar


Prunus ‘Otto luyken’ and wildlife

Prunus ‘Otto luyken’ is known for attracting bees and birds. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers and has seeds for birds.

Is known to attract Bees
Is not known to attract Beneficial insects
Beneficial insects
Is known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Butterflies/​Moths
Is not known to attract Other pollinators
Other pollinators

Is Prunus ‘Otto luyken’ poisonous?

Prunus ‘Otto luyken’ is harmful if ingested. Its foliage and fruit are toxic.

Toxic to:
Is known to attract Cats
Is known to attract Dogs
Is known to attract Horses
Is known to attract Livestock
Is known to attract People
No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds