Finding the Best Fertilizer for Healthy and Lush Skip Laurel Shrubs

If you want to grow a thick, lush privacy hedge in your front or back yard, skip laurel shrubs are a great choice. They are a privacy hedge that can turn your garden into a lush green paradise. It has clusters of fragrant white flowers, glossy green pointed leaves, and blackish-purple berries.

During the spring, it has white flowers. In the winter and fall, it has red berries that turn black when they are ready. Its bushy appearance and dark green leaves can enhance the beauty of your garden. It retains its green color throughout the year and thrives in any soil type.

It makes a great privacy screen and keeps unwanted animals out of your yard. Due to its dense growth, it blocks out unwanted views and provides privacy from your neighbors. Would you like to grow them in your yard? If so, you may be wondering how to plant them correctly.

Skip laurel also known as cherry laurel is an attractive broadleaf evergreen shrub valued for its glossy foliage and spring flowers. When grown as a hedge or screen, skip laurels create a lush backdrop of deep green leaves that provide year-round interest. Proper fertilization is key to keeping skip laurels looking their best. But with so many fertilizer options out there, how do you choose the best one?

In this article, we’ll explore the fertilizer requirements for skip laurels and recommend the optimal fertilizers to use for healthy growth and beautiful foliage.

Why Fertilizing Matters for Skip Laurels

While skip laurels are relatively low-maintenance shrubs, fertilization is still beneficial, especially when first establishing new plantings. Fertilizer provides essential nutrients to promote vigorous growth. It fuels the development of the root system, more branched top growth and lush green leaves.

On nutrient deficient soils, fertilizer can correct problems that lead to yellowing foliage, stunted growth, or plant decline. It supplies key macronutrients skip laurels need:

  • Nitrogen (N) for healthy green growth
  • Phosphorus (P) for root, flower, and fruit development
  • Potassium (K) for disease resistance and hardiness

Ensuring skip laurels have access to these nutrients will keep them looking their best.

When to Fertilize Skip Laurels

Timing fertilizer applications correctly ensures the nutrients are available when skip laurels need them most:

  • At planting – Fertilize new plantings to encourage fast establishment. Use a starter fertilizer or granular plant food worked into the soil.

  • Early spring – Feed established plants in early spring as growth resumes. Use a balanced granular fertilizer.

  • After pruning – Fertilize after any necessary spring pruning to replenish nutrients removed by cutting back branches.

  • Summer – Supplemental liquid feeding every 2-3 weeks during the active growing season is optional.

  • Fall – Avoid fertilizing after September, so growth slows and prepares for dormancy.

Signs It’s Time to Fertilize Skip Laurels

Monitor skip laurels through the growing season for any of these clues that indicate fertilizer is needed:

  • Paler leaves
  • Lackluster or minimal new growth
  • Leaf drop
  • Tip dieback
  • Increased susceptibility to disease/pests

Healthy laurels have vibrant dark green leaves. If foliage seems faded or yellowish, it’s likely time for fertilizer.

How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for Skip Laurels

When buying fertilizer for skip laurels, look for:

  • Balanced NPK ratio – Skip laurels do best with a fertilizer relatively equal in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

  • Slow-release formula – Slow-release fertilizers provide a steady supply of nutrients over an extended period of time.

  • Organic or synthetic options – Both work well, so choose whichever you prefer.

Always follow product labels for correct application rates to avoid over-fertilizing. More isn’t necessarily better with plant food.

5 Best Fertilizers for Skip Laurels

Here are some excellent fertilizer options specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of laurels and other broadleaf evergreen shrubs:

1. Espoma Plant-tone

This organic all-purpose plant food contains bone meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and other premium ingredients. The slow-release formula feeds up to 2 months.

2. Jobe’s Organics Shrub & Evergreen Fertilizer

Specially blended organic granules made from fish bone meal, feather meal, and chilean nitrate provide balanced nutrition.

3. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed

The easy shaker applicator makes feeding laurel hedges quick. The plant food gradually provides nitrogen for up to 3 months.

4. Dr. Earth Evergreen Fertilizer

This organic fertilizer contains probiotics and essential nutrients tailored for acid-loving shrubs like laurels.

5. Grow More Hawaiian Bud and Bloom

Derived from fish, this dry fertilizer has an ideal 2-1-2 NPK ratio for evergreens. The pellets work quickly but won’t burn roots.

No matter which fertilizer you choose, be sure to follow package instructions carefully. Reapply as directed over the growing season. Fertilizing will keep skip laurels looking lush, healthy, and beautiful all year long.

Liquid Fertilizer Options for Extra Growth

Granular fertilizers provide base nutrition, while liquid plant foods offer a periodic boost. Liquid options are easy to mix into a watering can and provide immediate access to nutrients.

Every 2-3 weeks in spring and summer, you can supplement granular fertilizer by feeding skip laurels with:

  • Compost tea
  • Fish emulsion
  • Seaweed extract
  • Epsom salts (provides magnesium)
  • Liquid kelp

For the best results, don’t overdo the liquids. Use them sparingly as a nutritional boost between granular feeding.

The Best Way to Apply Fertilizer to Skip Laurels

Proper fertilizer application ensures skip laurels fully benefit from the nutrients:

  • Read labels – Follow product instructions for amount and timing.

  • Distribute evenly – Spread granular fertilizer uniformly under the entire shrub canopy.

  • Water in well – Thoroughly water after application to dissolve granules and move nutrients into the soil.

  • Reapply as directed – Don’t just fertilize once. Make repeat applications over the growing season.

  • Avoid over-fertilization – Only use the recommended amount. Overdoing it can damage roots.

With the right fertilizer and proper application techniques, your skip laurels will flourish.

Improving Soil for Healthy Skip Laurels

While fertilizer provides vital nutrients, the underlying soil still needs to be healthy for plants to thrive. Here are some ways to improve soil conditions for skip laurels:

  • Add compost – Mix 1-2 inches of compost into soil under skip laurels to increase organic matter.

  • Adjust pH – Test soil pH and amend if needed to maintain the ideal slightly acidic range of 5.5-6.5.

  • Aerate soil – Punch holes with an aerator tool to improve drainage and oxygen circulation to roots.

  • Control weeds – Pull or mulch around laurels to reduce competition for nutrients and moisture.

  • Replenish mulch – Maintain 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch to conserve moisture and add organic matter as it decomposes.

Taking steps to foster healthy, nutrient-rich soil will allow any added fertilizer to work most effectively.

Signs of Fertilizer Deficiency in Skip Laurels

Without adequate nutrition, skip laurels may exhibit these deficiency symptoms:

  • Nitrogen – Poor/stunted growth, smaller leaves, yellowing on older foliage
  • Phosphorus – Purplish leaf discoloration, weak branching
  • Potassium – Leaf scorch, yellowing, tip/margin burn
  • Iron – Interveinal leaf yellowing on newest leaves

If a nutrient imbalance is suspected, have a soil test done to analyze macro and micronutrient levels. Choose an appropriate fertilizer to correct any deficiencies found.

How to Avoid Fertilizer Burn on Skip Laurels

While fertilizer benefits skip laurels, overdoing it can lead to fertilizer burn, causing browning leaf margins or dried tips due to salt buildup. To avoid this:

  • Carefully follow all label directions for product amount and timing. More is NOT better.

  • Apply fertilizer evenly under the canopy, not heavily in one place.

  • Water thoroughly after feeding to prevent granules from burning where concentrated.

  • Wait the recommended time between applications, usually at least 6-8 weeks for granular fertilizers.

  • Switch between different fertilizers rather than using the same one repeatedly.

  • Reduce frequency for mature, established laurels that need less food.

With reasonable fertilizer amounts properly watered in, you can enrich the soil and avoid damage to skip laurel’s foliage and roots.

Best Practices for Fertilizing Skip Laurels

Follow these tips for success when fertilizing skip laurels:

  • Fertilize at planting, early spring, and after pruning, but avoid late summer/fall feeding.

  • Look for signs of deficiency like yellow leaves or minimal new growth as clues to fertilize.

  • Choose a balanced organic or synthetic fertilizer made for evergreens.

  • Apply at the product’s recommended rate; more is not better.

  • Distribute granules evenly under the entire canopy.

  • Always water thoroughly after fertilizing to avoid burning.

  • Improve soil conditions with compost, pH adjustment, aeration, and mulch.

  • Watch for signs of over-fertilization like leaf burn and adjust amounts accordingly.

  • Supplement with periodic liquid fertilizer for an extra nutrient boost.

Ensuring skip laurels get the nutrients they require will keep these handsome hedges looking healthy and beautiful all year long. With the right fertilizer and proper care, you can help your laurels thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fertilizing Skip Laurels

Here are answers to some common questions about fertilizing skip laurel shrubs:

How often should I fertilize my skip laurels?

  • Feed established plants once in early spring and again after pruning any dead branches. Also fertilize at planting time.

What kind of fertilizer is best for skip laurels?

  • Look for a granular evergreen or acid-loving plant fertilizer with balanced NPK levels and slow nutrient release. Organic or synthetic both work well.

Should I use a liquid fertilizer on my laurel hedge?

  • Liquid fertilizers can provide a beneficial supplement between granular feeding. Use compost tea, fish emulsion, kelp extract, or Epsom salts every 2-3 weeks.

What should I do if skip laurel leaves are turning yellow?

  • Yellowing leaves often indicate a nitrogen deficiency. Have a soil test done and fertilize as needed with a nitrogen-rich plant food to green up foliage.

How can I avoid burning skip laurels with fertilizer?

  • Only use the recommended amount, distribute it evenly, and always water thoroughly after applying to prevent salt buildup on roots.

Give Your Skip Laurels a Nutrient Boost

If your skip laurels aren’t looking their best, it may be time to assess their fertilizer needs. Feed skip laurels at the right times with a quality evergreen fertilizer to keep them healthy and lush all year long. With the proper nutrients and care, these beautiful hedging plants will thrive and enhance your landscape for years to come.

How to Plant Skip Laurel

Planting skip laurel is an easy process. Dig a hole three times the root ball’s size and the same depth as the container. Before planting the shrub, loosen the soil and improve fertility and drainage by incorporating organic material.

After that, you need to put the shrub in the middle of the planting hole and fill in the rest of the space with soil that has been amended with compost. Remove any air pockets by pressing the ground firmly. To stop weeds from growing and keep the soil at the right level of moisture, water and mulch around the base of the plant often.

After planting the skip laurel, water it regularly for the first week. Ensure that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Inspect the shrub for signs of stress, like yellowing leaves and wilting. You don’t need to prune skip laurels regularly. Prune them lightly after they have finished flowering in the early spring. Don’t add fertilizer if the plant is healthy.

Growing Conditions for Skip Laurel Shrubs

Skip Laurel is an evergreen shrub that is usually grown as a hedge or screen. It grows up to 18 feet, and the leaves have an almond-like smell when crushed. It can be easily trimmed or pruned to form a dense evergreen screen.

It is easy to grow and requires little care for optimum growth. It grows up to 2 feet per year and can be used to hide an unpleasant view. It thrives in all light levels without weakening in the shade or yellowing in the sun.

Here are a few factors that you should consider to ensure that skip laurel shrubs grow healthily.

Skip Laurel can thrive well in all types of light conditions. It grows well in both partial shade and full sun. Many plants get diseases when they are in heavy shade, but skip laurel doesn’t have this problem because it doesn’t get diseases. In full sun, it grows at a faster rate and produces more berries and flowers. In partial shade, it has less dense foliage. To make sure your skip laurel grows well, plant it somewhere that gets full sun to some shade.

For those who live in places with less sun and more partial shade, skip laurel can still add some green to their homes. One of the best features of skip laurel is its tolerance to poor conditions. Direct sunlight won’t yellow it, and shade won’t weaken its glossy green leaves.

Skip laurel is not very demanding when it comes to the soil type. It can thrive in all types of soil conditions. But it prefers sandy, clay, acidic, and alkaline soil. Avoid heavy clay or sandy soils that retain huge amounts of water or become waterlogged.

If you want to improve the soil’s drainage and fertility before you plant, skip the laurel and add organic matter like well-rotted manure. Adequate drainage is important, or else the root can rot. If the soil has drainage issues, use raised beds or organic matter to tackle the problem.

When you plant skip laurels, pack down the soil to get rid of air pockets and give the shrubs the support they need. The pH range of the soil should be between 6. 0 to 7. 5. To find out if the pH level of the soil is low, use the soil testing kit to check it and make any necessary changes.

After planting skip laurel, you’ll have to water every day for the first week. Then reduce the watering frequency gradually to every ten days or once a week. Apply 3-4 inch layers of mulch to keep the soil moist. When you plant them, you’ll need to water them for more than a week if you live in a very hot place.

Drill a hole or stick your finger in the ground to see how much water they need. If the soil feels dry, you need to water them. You can use a soaker hose that is porous and allows water to seep out along its length. Lay it along the length of the hedge and connect it to a timer. During the summer, run the hose for 15-20 minutes a day.

Adjust the watering requirement as per the moisture level of the soil. Reduce the watering session if the soil feels moist. If the shrub doesn’t grow after the soil doesn’t drain well, it could be because the soil is too wet. If this is the case, purchase a plant that can grow and survive in more suitable soil.

If the skip laurel shrub is stressed, you’ll have to fertilize it to promote its growth. When you plant, add organic matter like peat moss, compost, or humus to the soil. This will help the plants grow quickly and well. Once grown to a suitable height, you don’t need to fertilize at all. Well-established shrubs don’t need to be fed.

Choose a fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Don’t over-fertilize. Skip laurels, as excessive nutrients can lead to stunted growth. If the soil is low or deficient in nutrients, use a nutrient-specific fertilizer. It is suggested that you mix 1/4 teaspoon of organic fertilizer with 1 gallon of water once a week during the summer.

Don’t feed the skip laurel in the winter. Give it some time to rest. During this time, the growth of the shrub slows down, and it doesn’t need added nutrition. You can fertilize skip laurels in the spring using a slow-release fertilizer.

You don’t need to prune skip laurels regularly. Occasional pruning can be done to promote healthy growth and help maintain their shape. Prune them in spring after they have flowered. When you prune them, get rid of any diseased, dead, or damaged branches to make them look better and improve their health as a whole. Prune selectively to shape the shrub. Trim back straggly or very long branches to maintain an appealing appearance.

Don’t prune them heavily; else, it can lead to reduced flowering. If a shot hole has been made in the skip laurel, cut off the sick leaves and give the plant a lot of air flow so it can grow new, healthy leaves.

When the skip laurel branches are young, trim the branches. This will encourage them to produce thick foliage. Once the plant gets established, remove the topmost branches to ensure that the lower parts get enough sunlight.

Skip Laurel Shrubs | Step by Step Planting

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