Compact Carolina Cherry Laurel

Prunus caroliniana 'Compacta'

A dwarf, compact shrub, maturing at half the size of the regular Cherry Laurel, making an outstanding hedge or screen that tolerates heat, drought, and wind. Bright-green foliage has a scent reminiscent of maraschino cherries. Fragrant creamy white flowers are followed by small black inedible berries.
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Filtered sun, Full sun, Partial shade, Partial sun

Once established, needs only occasional watering, but best with supplemental water during periods of extreme heat.


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Botanical PronunciationPROO-nus kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-uh
Average Size at MaturityModerate growing to 8-10 ft. tall, 6-8 ft. wide.
Bloom TimeSmall creamy white flowers late winter to early spring produce black berries
Design IdeasThis broadleaf foliage shrub is an ideal, compact, versatile background plant. It's primary value is as a hedge to provide a solid privacy barrier or windbreak. Adaptability to shearing makes this an outstanding formal foliage plant sheared into cone or columnar shapes as well as the standard rectangular forms.
Deciduous/ EvergreenEvergreen
Flower AttributeFragrant, Showy Flowers
Flower ColorWhite
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleContemporary
Growth RateModerate
Landscape UseBorder, Firescaping/Firewise, Hedge, Privacy Screen, Coastal Exposure
Light NeedsFiltered sun, Full sun, Partial shade, Partial sun
Soil NeedsTree & Shrub Food
Special FeatureDwarf Plant, Fruit Poisonous, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Waterwise, Bird Friendly, Compact Form
Water NeedsLow
Watering NeedsOnce established, needs only occasional watering, but best with supplemental water during periods of extreme heat.
Companion PlantsUse as a rich background for shorter shrubs with more interesting blooms such as Ramapo Rhododendron, (Rhododendron x 'Ramapo'), Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorne, (Raphiolepis indica 'Conor') and Penny Mac Hydrangea, (Hydrangea macrophylla 'Penny Mac'). Excellent backing for big bold perennials too: Chicago Apache, (Hemerocallis x 'Chicago Apache'), Midknight Blue Agapanthus, (Agapanthus x 'Monmid') and Mango Meadowbrite Coneflower, (Echinacea 'CBG').

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a tidy, neat appearance, shear annually to shape. Caution: foliage or berries should not be ingested.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 8-10

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant