- Position: full sun to full shade
- Soil: any garden soil (except waterlogged soils)
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This resilient evergreen shrub has become popular because it will thrive in inhospitable, shady areas of the garden where little else will grow. It copes well with dry shade, urban pollution and salt-laden air, and is easy to look after. The leaves are large and splashed with pale yellow (hence its common name of spotted laurel), and it has insignificant, small clusters of red-purple flowers in April and May. It will light up a shady corner of the garden, or make an excellent dense hedge for an urban or coastal site.
- Garden care: To promote bushy growth cut back straggly branches in spring. Apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant after pruning.