Castlewellan Cherry Laurel Prunus laurocerasus 'Castlewellan' (v)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
cherry laurel 'Castlewellan'


Castlewellan is a variety of Cherry Laurel characterized by its dense, evergreen foliage. The leaves are glossy, dark green, and narrow, creating a lush appearance throughout the year. The plant produces fragrant white flowers that develop into small, cherry-like fruits which are often hidden beneath the foliage. These fruits start out green, becoming a dark purple-black when ripe. Castlewellan's leaves and the fruits are toxic if ingested. The foliage sometimes shows a golden-yellow hue, particularly in new growth or when exposed to full sunlight, giving this plant a shimmering appearance. As a cultivar, Castlewellan is often used in landscaping for its visual appeal and its ability to form a dense, hedge-like presence, making it desirable for screens and borders.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Castlewellan Cherry Laurel, Castlewellan Gold, Variegated Cherry Laurel

    • Common names

      Prunus laurocerasus 'Castlewellan'.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)

    • Spread

      6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Southeast Europe Western Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Foliage: The plant has glossy evergreen leaves which provide year-round visual interest.
    • Privacy Screen: Because of its dense growth, it can be used effectively as a natural privacy barrier or hedge.
    • Low Maintenance: The Cherry Laurel requires relatively low maintenance compared to other ornamental plants.
    • Windbreak: Its thick foliage can act as a barrier against strong winds, protecting more delicate plants.
    • Noise Reduction: Good for use in urban environments where it can help to absorb sound.
    • Tolerance to Shade: It can thrive in shaded areas where other plants might struggle.
    • Wide Adaptability: Can grow in a range of soil types, though it prefers moist, well-drained conditions.
    • Pest Resistance: It's resistant to many common pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Fast Growing: It grows quickly to establish structures and fill spaces in landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Privacy screens: Cherry laurel 'Castlewellan' can be grown as a dense hedge for privacy, as its thick foliage creates an effective green barrier.
    • Sound barriers: The dense growth habit of the cherry laurel can also help to reduce noise pollution in urban gardens and alongside busy roads.
    • Topiary: The plant can be shaped and maintained in precise forms, making it suitable for topiary gardens and ornamental landscape designs.
    • Windbreaks: Cherry laurel hedges are often planted in exposed areas to provide protection against strong winds, helping to shelter other plants in a garden.
    • Erosion control: With its extensive root system, cherry laurel can be used on slopes to help prevent soil erosion.
    • Focal point in gardens: Due to its attractive foliage and upright growth habit, it can be used as a specimen plant in garden design.
    • Foundation planting: Cherry laurel is commonly used to hide foundations and create a visual base for buildings in landscaping.
    • Wildlife habitat: The dense foliage provides nesting sites and cover for birds and other wildlife.
    • Litter control: Falling leaves and berries can be used as organic mulch, which will decompose and enrich the soil.
    • Photography and film: Cherry laurel's dense, green backdrop is often used as a setting for photographing wildlife or for green backdrops in film production.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Cherry laurel is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Cherry laurel is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Everlasting Life: As an evergreen plant, the cherry laurel symbolizes immortality and the continuation of life, as it maintains its green foliage throughout the year.
    • Victory: Cherry laurel was historically used as a symbol of triumph and victory, often associated with Roman emperors and military successes.
    • Protection: This plant was thought to ward off evil and is commonly planted with the intention to provide shelter and a safe haven.
    • Peace: The foliage of the cherry laurel can represent peace and tranquility, reminiscent of a laurel wreath, which is an emblem of peace in some cultures.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Castlewellan Gold requires watering that keeps the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. During the first growing season, it's essential to establish a good root system, so watering should be done frequently, typically once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Each watering session should provide enough water to soak the root zone; for smaller plants, this may be around 1-2 gallons, while larger shrubs might require up to 5 gallons per session. After establishment, the plant is relatively drought-tolerant, but during prolonged periods of dry weather, supplemental watering every two weeks may be necessary to maintain health.

  • sunLight

    Castlewellan Gold thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers a location where it can receive at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily, which promotes the best leaf color and overall health. It can also tolerate light shade, but its growth may be less vigorous and the foliage color less intense in such conditions.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Castlewellan Gold can survive in temperatures as low as 0°F and as high as about 90°F. However, it thrives in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F. Ensure that the shrub is protected from extreme cold and hot winds that can damage the foliage and stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Castlewellan Gold is typically done to shape the plant, remove any dead or diseased wood, and encourage healthier, denser growth. It is best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Annual pruning is recommended, although some gardeners may choose to prune lightly again in mid-summer to maintain a neat appearance. Cut back shoots that spoil the symmetry of the plant and thin out the center to improve air circulation.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Cherry Laurel 'Castlewellan' prefers well-draining soil with a pH ranging from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, around 6.0 to 7.5. A mix containing loam, peat, and sharp sand or perlite would provide suitable conditions for healthy root growth and adequate drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Cherry Laurel 'Castlewellan' being a large shrub, is usually not repotted but rather planted directly in the ground. If it's grown in containers, young plants may be repotted every 2-3 years to encourage growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Cherry Laurel 'Castlewellan' is adaptable but prefers a moderate humidity level. Being an outdoor plant, it generally thrives in the humidity levels found in most temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in well-lit room & keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to part shade, shield from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Prunus laurocerasus 'Castlewellan', commonly known as Castlewellan laurel, begins its life cycle as a seed, typically requiring a period of cold stratification to break dormancy before germination. After germination, the seedling stage involves root and shoot development until the plant becomes an established sapling. As the sapling grows, it enters the vegetative stage where it develops a robust root system, stems, and foliage, with the bright golden-yellow leaves that are characteristic of this variety. The Castlewellan laurel then reaches maturity, characterized by its ability to flower and reproduce; it produces small white flowers in spring, which are attractive to pollinators. Following pollination, the flowers develop into small black fruits by late summer, which are typically dispersed by birds and other animals. In optimal conditions, this evergreen shrub can live for many years, with some specimens surviving for several decades if they are well-maintained and unafflicted by pests or diseases.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Prunus laurocerasus 'Castlewellan', commonly known as the Castlewellan cherry laurel, is typically propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings. This method is favored for its efficiency and reliably cloned plants. The best time for taking cuttings is in late summer or early fall when the plant's growth begins to slow and the stems are neither too soft nor too woody. To propagate, a cutting about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long is taken with several leaves attached. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone to enhance root development. The cutting is then inserted into a well-draining rooting medium and kept humid until roots have established, typically within a few weeks to a few months. It's important to maintain a consistent environment by keeping the temperature around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit (21-24 degrees Celsius) and providing indirect light until the cutting is fully rooted and ready to be transplanted.