Volcano Cherry LaurelPrunus laurocerasus 'JONG1' (PP# 29,889)
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Prunus laurocerasus 'JONG1' (PP# 29,889)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Volcano Cherry Laurel is a compact evergreen that is much smaller than other cherry laurel, yet just as tough and reliable. Plus, it has colorful new leaves of bronzy red that make it a real winner. No more than 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, the leaves are smaller too, while just as glossy, rich-green and attractive. White flowers in spring followed by black berries are a colorful bonus too, and this compact shrub is perfect for filling beds, planting around your home, and making hedges and privacy screens.
Incredibly adaptable, the Volcano Cherry Laurel will grow in full sun to full shade, and in all kinds of soils too. Once established it is drought resistant, and it’s untroubled by pests, diseases and deer. Also resistant to salt-spray it can be grown almost anywhere, from urban gardens to the seaside. It’s naturally dense and bushy, but can be trimmed as needed for super-neat bushes.
Versatility is the key to the success of cherry laurel as one of our most reliable evergreens. It isn’t just how attractive the glossy, dark-green leaves are year-round, but how adaptable this great plant is to any and all garden conditions. Urban soils and pollution; everything from hot sun to full shade; trimmed or not; drought and pest resistant – no wonder its so widely used. The only thing is, this plant is often big and pushy – great if you have room to fill, but not so good in limited spaces. That’s why the Volcano Cherry Laurel is such a winner – it stays much smaller and more compact than just about any other variety. That, and the bonus of fabulous red spring leaves on a shrub that’s normally green year-round, make it your choice for lower hedges, filling beds and providing screening and privacy where great height isn’t needed. If 6 foot tall sounds good to you, this evergreen delivers – and with some trimming it can be half that size. This is a great shrub for softening the outline of your home around the foundations, and just as good out in the yard, reliably greening up the place with almost no effort from you. So solve your evergreen issues, add some great spring color, and let the Volcano Cherry Laurel do the work – this is one shrub you can’t be without.
The Volcano Cherry Laurel is a rounded evergreen shrub, densely branched and bushy. It grows at a moderate pace, adding 12 to 18 inches of new growth each year when young, so it won’t be long before it tops-out at around 6 feet or so, with a spread of 4 to 5 feet – the perfect dense bush for screening and hedges. The leaves are leathery and glossy, 3½ by 1½ inches – that’s a lot smaller than most cherry laurel, completely in scale with the smaller size of this bush. The edges of young leaves have distinct serrations, which soften as the leaves mature. The smooth surface and oval shape is always attractive and green year-round. At least, except for spring, when this shrub surprises us with bold, red and orange new leaves. When still tiny the leaves are bronzy-red, turning a golden-orange with red edges as they expand, before finally turning dark green. This shrub really puts on a great spring show – and again every time you trim it.
After a few years untrimmed bushes will flower in late spring, producing upright ‘candles’ of tiny white flowers. These are about 4 inches long, and mostly produced on untrimmed plants – regular trimming will usually keep them away. These flower clusters are followed by clusters of round berries, first green and later black, giving interest in late summer and fall. Although called ‘cherry’, these berries are not edible – although birds love them. It is worth noting that all parts of this bush can be toxic, although cases of poisoning are rare. Don’t plant where horse or livestock can reach it.
The perfect filler for your beds, the Volcano Cherry Laurel is guaranteed to give you ‘bushy and green’ wherever you need it in your garden. Grow it around your house as part of the foundation planting – it’s invaluable. Fill the corners of your beds with visual ‘anchors’ that give an air of stability and maturity to your garden. Grow it as a low to medium-sized hedge – trimmed or not – for a boundary or internal divisions in your yard. Plant it as year-round screening from the road or privacy from neighbors. It is also great for planter boxes (zone 7 and warmer) when you want bulk and density – you can plant trailing flowering plants around it for a lush look.
Reliably hardy from zone 6 into zone 9, the Volcano Cherry Laurel is a winner across all but the coldest parts of the country.
This versatile shrub will grow well in just about all light conditions, from full sun to light full shade. Avoid planting directly beneath large, heavy evergreen trees – everywhere else is not a problem. This means your hedges can pass from sun to shade and still look great, without scorching or thinning out. The Volcano Cherry Laurel is also one of the most reliable shrubs for poor soil conditions, including new urban gardens and construction soil. As long as it isn’t always wet and boggy, all soils are easily tolerated. You always need to water new plants regularly, but once well-established you will find this shrub one of the most drought-resistant plants in your garden. It is also salt tolerant, so it’s great for coastal gardens, and will take some highway salt spray as well.
As well as being unattractive to deer, the Volcano Cherry Laurel is almost never bothered by pests or diseases – this is one tough and reliable bush. It is easy to prune any time after the new leaves mature a little into early fall. You can trim as often as you want, and if you need to prune hard, even back to bare branches, that’s fine too. Before you know it new shoots will have grown out and rebuilt the bush all over again. The smaller leaves mean this bush is easier to trim with power trimmers without leaving a lot of unsightly cut leaf edges.
The Cherry laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, can be found growing wild in Turkey, Iran and all around the Black Sea. Wild plants have large leaves and grow into small trees, even reaching 50 feet. It has been grown in European gardens for centuries, and came over to America with the early settlers. Over time smaller varieties have been created to suit our gardens better, and the variety called ‘Jong1’ was found by Cornelis Henricus Maria de Jong at the Hooghoutplantat nursery in Biezenmortel, the Netherlands. In 2006 he collected seeds from several plants of cherry laurel, and among the seedlings he found a very compact plant, with striking red new leaves. After testing and evaluation he patented it in 2018, and it quickly gained the common name Volcano Cherry Laurel from it’s bright eruption of red new leaves.
We feel this is the best selection available for a smaller cherry laurel, with the bonus of those great red new leaves. If you have been scared off by the cherry laurel monster in the past, go for this one – the only thing that isn’t volcanic is the size! The demand for compact evergreens is huge, so order now – this is one shrub we know won’t be with us for long.