The Right Place
Cherry laurels are generally hardy as far north as the Mason-Dixon line, into southeastern Pennsylvania and along the Atlantic seaboard into southern New England (zone 6). They are able to handle winter temperatures as low as 0F. Some types lose their leaves during atypically severe winters, but regain them in the spring. Certain varieties such as Schipka and `Zabeliana' are even hardier.
Planting Nursery Stock
These flowering shrubs need some sun, but they tolerate shade better than most broadleaf evergreens. In fact, they are less vigorous if they receive too much sun. They are not terribly fussy about soil as long as it is reasonably fertile, well drained and not too acid (pH 6.5 to 7.5). These shrubs tolerate salt spray, some moisture stress and exposure.
Plant 1 1/4 to 3 foot shrubs that are either in containers or have their roots and soil wrapped in burlap. Plant in the fall, if possible. Remove the container or any wrappings from each young shrub. Gently loosen and spread any tangled or matted roots. Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate the spread roots. Set the tree in the hole at the same soil level, or slightly higher, than it was previously, so the top of the rootball will be level with the ground after the shrub settles. Fill the hole with soil, firming it gently around the shrub. Water thoroughly to establish good soil to root contact. Do not fertilize at this time or during the first year, to encourage the cherrylaurel's roots to spread into the soil and establish the plant. Allow sufficient open space around the young shrub to avoid overcrowding as it matures.
Amendments In Planting or Transplanting
There are a number of products at the garden center that will help your newly planted or transplanted plants deal better with the stress inherent in the planting process. All healthy plants have beneficial fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, living on their roots. You can buy these valuable additions to your plant’s ecosystem. See the file describing Using Micorrhizae When Planting.
In addition, there are a number of products such as seaweed, compost tea, and beneficial soil microbes that when added to the planting process will help your newly established plants get going faster. See the file New Technology In Plant Growth Activators
For more information see the file on Planting Shrubs. For planting tools see Hand Tools For Digging and Planting in Yardener’s Tool Shed.