English Laurel ‘Zabeliana’ (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Zabeliana’)

Zabeliana shrub

Prunus laurocerasus ‘Zabeliana’ (English Laurel ‘Zabeliana’, Zabel laurel). Zone 3-9, Sunset 14-24. Native to southeastern Europe and Mediterranean.  Hardy to 5°F. Medium-large compact shrub with evenly spaced angled upward to outward branches creating nice structured polished look. White fragrant flowers in spikes in mid-spring followed by red fruits blackened at maturity.  In hot inland Bay Area grows best in partial shade, close to the coast will easily take full sun as this particular cultivar of Prunus laurocerasus could take more sun then species.
This dark evergreen narrow-leafed shrub has airy and dense enough look simultaneously, it could reach 5×8 ft, on average in BA landscape around 3×4 ft wide. Leathery, shiny elliptic almost linear alternate leaves are 3.5 in long x1 in wide.
Good to use on slope as outward leaning branches will nicely cover ground. Beautiful when used as specimen or low hedge. You hardly will ever need to trim this shrub if planted in right place with consideration of its size. If you want more formal look from your hedge do not use hedge shears or electrical trimmer though, trim each branch with pruner just above the leaf it will give the plant nice clean look as opposed to damaged leaves with hedge trimmer. Used in foundation planting or in dappled shade of big deciduous trees Zabel laurel look splendid with right combinations of plants even exotic. Can be espaliered in narrow sidewalk or in foundation planting.
Moderate water and yearly light fertilization (can be easily omitted), tolerant of clay, but prefers acidic to lightly acidic soil with good drainage. Practically no pests – occasionally infested by scales.

Plant profile summary:

Name Prunus laurocerasus‘Zabeliana’(English Laurel ‘Zabeliana’, Zabel laurel)
Zone/ Sunset Zone 3-9, Sunset 14-24
Type: Shrub
Size/shape: 3 x 4 ft in cultivation can reach 5×8 ft wide, structural polished and soft look, branches spread upward to horizontal.
Life Span: Long lived
Foliage/ Flower/ Fruits Type/ Color Evergreen dense and airy shrub, leaves 3.5 in long 1 in wide deep green, elliptic with smooth edge. Small white flowers in spikes mid-spring, small red to black fruits at maturity.
Sun/ wind Exposure: Part Sun to Part Shade inland BA/ full sun in coastal BA
Water requirements: Moderate, mulch heavily to preserve the moisture and minimize watering
Soil requirements: Acidic to slightly acidic, plenty of organic matter, good drainage, mulch heavily to preserve the moisture, tolerate clay
Use: Under-story, foundation planting, specimen, low screen, slop cover, low hedge
Attractions – special features: Evergreen, nice polished look, hardy very easy plant
Pests / Diseases: Sometimes infested by scales – easy to control – spray with light horticultural oil to smother.
Trimming If you’d like to give it more regular shape – in mid summer. Do not use electrical trimmer – pruners are best for the job
Caution: Some people may find fragrance too heavy, seeds kernel poisonous