Plant “Mount Vernon” as a low informal bed border or small hedge, or as a groundcover under trees and large shrubs.(Rick Peterson)

Plant “Mount Vernon” as a low informal bed border or small hedge, or as a groundcover under trees and large shrubs.(Rick Peterson)

Great Plant Pick: Prunus laurocerasus ‘Mount Vernon,’ dwarf English laurel

Plant “Mount Vernon” as a low informal bed border or small hedge, or as a groundcover under trees and large shrubs.

What: An exceptionally useful small shrub, Prunus laurocerasus “Mount Vernon” creates a dense, tidy evergreen mound in the garden. This dwarf form of the aggressive English laurel does not flower or set seed. It is not invasive in the garden or in our native habitat. Its compact growth rarely exceeds 2 feet tall and its slow spread to 4 or 5 feet wide makes it an excellent and well-mannered groundcover. Even with its diminutive habit, Prunus laurocerasus “Mount Vernon” carries the tough, rugged qualities of its larger more domineering counterpart. It tolerates drought, poor urban soils and dry shade. Use it for a low informal bed border or small hedge, or as a groundcover under trees and large shrubs.

Where: This dwarf evergreen shrub will grow well in full sun to deep shade. Provide a location with moist to well-drained soil, although it will tolerate sandy sites and clay with adequate drainage.

Size: The dwarf English laurel will grow to be 2 feet tall and 5 feet wide when mature.

Care: It is drought tolerant once established, but does appreciate occasional watering during prolonged dry weather. No pruning is needed to maintain its low habit. It will not flower or set seed, and is not invasive.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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