About Prunus caroliniana ‘Compacta’
This compact evergreen shrub is a Prunus caroliniana ‘Compacta’. As a moderate grower you can expect its average landscape size to reach 6-10′ x 4-6′. While still relatively large, it is called compact due to its tightly wound branches which are topped with 2-3″ long narrow green leaves. As the spring season approaches clusters of creamy white flowers emerge followed by purple-black berries. It is commonly known as Dwarf Carolina Laurel Cherry for the cherry-like scent the leaves give off when crushed. Starting in the spring, this bush invites a variety of insects and birds including butterflies and bees. Although a poisonous plant, it doesn’t bother birds and insects but works as an excellent deterrent to deer. This plant is known by many common names some of which include, Cherry Laurel, Laurel Cherry, Laurocerasus Caroliniana and Carolina Cherry Laurel.
Plant the Cherry Laurel in well-draining soil with exposure to full to partial sun. Known to be tolerant to heat and coastal temperatures, this plant has medium watering requirements and can be pruned as desired for shape. The berries are known to be messy and can stain pavements so consider this when deciding to prune and when planting.
Dwarf Carolina Laurel Cherry is commonly used in California as a hedge due to its tight branching, low maintenance, evergreen qualities. It also shapes nicely into a topiary or even a tree. While shaping into a topiary or tree would require more effort, the result can be quite striking. Its shallow roots makes Prunus caroliniana ‘Compacta’ convenient for when planting in a landscape design with less space. Plant as a backdrop in a flower bed or next to perennials.
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