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I have a six foot laurel hedge at the front of the house which looks great but by July time the young new growth gets a powdery substance on its leaves and they die. I end up cutting off the new stuff, leaving the old leaves. Can I stop this occurring?



If it's a white powdery substance that sounds like powdery mildew and you can buy spray on treatments which may not cure it but should hold it in check

30 Nov, 2013


I found this helpful information via google

Powdery Mildew is (unsurprisingly) a grey, powdery fungal coating that affects a wide range of plants including native hedge plants, such as hawthorn, field maple and wild roses as well as ornamentals such as beech and laurel. Mildew is not a serious condition and is usually easily dealt with either by spraying with a suitable fungicide (there will be at least 4 or 5 brands on sale in your local garden centre) or by doing nothing and waiting for it to go away. Which it will when the underlying causes have been dealt with or removed.

Paradoxically mildew, which is a fungus, often attacks as a result of plants having been dry underfoot. They become stressed and weakened and so are easy targets. So mildew in hot dry weather is best treated with a good watering. In the longer term (and a number of these pages say the same thing), incorporate more well rotted organic matter in to your soil. The more the merrier. It will increase the water holding capacity of the ground and so reduces the stress your plants suffer in dry spells. With native hedge plants, the easiest way to do this is to chuck your grass clippings along the bottom of the hedge. Give your ornamentals and soft fruit a mulch of well rotted compost or manure

The other reason you find mildew is because air movement around the diseased plant is poor. This is why it more often attacks climbing roses, sheltered against a wall, than bush roses which are out in the open. Spraying works, as does judicious pruning to remove overgrown parts of climbing plants. By the same token, mildew often affects thick, well trimmed native hedging. This is a backhanded compliment to the hedge - dense hedges allow less air movement.

30 Nov, 2013


Unusual for any kind of laurel to suffer from mildew - which laurel is it, exactly? Laurel is often used to describe three different plants - Prunus laurocerasus, Aucuba japonica or sometimes, Laurus nobilis (bay). I've seen this problem quite a bit on pyracantha hedges, or Euonymus which sometimes gets scale (looks silvery and leaves die back), but never on laurel.

2 Dec, 2013


I don't recall seeing it on laurel either but various sites do say laurel is prone to mildew

3 Dec, 2013


Do they Anchorman? Which laurel do they mean?

4 Dec, 2013


Not sure Bamboo. I looked at 3 or 4 websites and they all just said laurel which isn't over helpful.

I really don't recall seeing mildew on any laurels of whatever species in my customer's gardens or, come to think of it ,maybe I did see some on a bay laurel many years ago.

5 Dec, 2013


Yea, bay laurel's possible, but the other two, I've never seen it either.

6 Dec, 2013

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