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The real laurel (Laurus nobilis) is also known in this country as the spice laurel, as its leaves are harvested for use in the kitchen. With the various types of damage to the plant, a distinction must be made between deficiency symptoms caused by inappropriate care and diseases.

Laurel diseases are easy to spot on the leaves

Deficiency symptoms in the leaves and roots of the spice laurel

Due to its southern origin, the real laurel generally prefers a sun-drenched location with well-drained soil. Planting outdoors in a shady spot with heavy, wet soil can result in stunted growth or leaf drop even with otherwise good care. If brown or brown leaves appear without pruning the plant, over- or under-watering can be the reason. This can be seen when transplanting the laurel by the either dried up or slightly rotten hair roots. In a sufficiently large pot, laurel should be watered at least once a week when it is dry, but you should also avoid waterlogging. Since the spice laurel is sensitive to salts, you should only fertilize it sparingly and if possible with organic fertilizer.

Diseases of the laurel

The so-called shotgun disease is regularly mentioned in connection with laurel, but it affects the cherry laurel used for hedges more than the real laurel. As a measure against the disease, fungicide sprays and reduced nitrogen fertilization are recommended. In addition, the real laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a relatively resistant plant that hardly tends to be attacked by diseases.

Pests on the shoots and leaves of laurel

In rare cases, the spice laurel can be infested with spider mites, scale insects and mealybugs, which you can recognize by the mottled leaves and fine webs. Since the laurel can only be overwintered outdoors in mild locations in this country, it often spends the winter in a warm winter quarters. So that a pest infestation is less likely here, the temperature should not be above 8 degrees Celsius and you should winter the laurel plants as late as possible and winter them out again as early as possible.


If the laurel is infested with pests, try to remove the insects by collecting them or washing them off with a strong jet of water. The use of appropriate insecticides makes the leaves taboo for months or years when harvested for consumption.

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