The cherry laurel, also known as Prunus laurocerasus, grows as a large evergreen shrub or small tree in the southern United States. It grows from the Mason-Dixon line on south and thrives in plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. The cherry laurel needs a few hours of sun each day, but if it is planted in full sun it may be less vigorous than if it is allowed to have some shade. To plant a cherry laurel, locate a site with fertile, well-draining soil; the pH of the soil should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
Observe the planting area to choose a location that will give your cherry laurel some shade. The more sun you give it, the less vigorously it will grow. Ensure that the site can support a mature specimen up to 20 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide.
Remove the container or wrapping from around the rootball. Untangle roots that are matted together.
Dig a hole with your shovel that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the untangled roots. The average hole size will be 12 inches wide by 12 inches deep, but this may vary if you have purchased a cherry laurel that is smaller or larger than average.
Set the cherry laurel in the planting hole. The top of the rootball should sit at or just above the filled-in soil level.
Shovel soil into the planting hole and tamp down with your foot to ensure adequate root to soil contact.
Water thoroughly to soak the entire rootball. This will also help settle the soil and remove any air pockets that might be around the roots.