Mountain Laurel – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

July 16, 2013 Case News

Common Name:      Mountain Laurel

Botanical Name:      Kalmia latifolia

Mountain-LaurelKnown for its abundant, beautiful flowers and glossy evergreen leaves, mountain laurel is closely related to rhododendrons and azaleas, all belonging to the ericacea (heath) family. Native to the eastern US mountainous areas, they produce stunning blooms with crimped edges, in colours ranging from pink to maroon and red. Easy to grow once established in a partial sunny area of your garden, mountain laurel are deer proof and attract many types of butterflies. There are several varieties of mountain laurel shrubs available; each type ranges in bloom colour and growing height. ‘Olympic Fire’ shows off its red- pink buds that open to dark pink flowers. ‘Minuet’ is an outstanding dwarf variety with pink flowers that have a dark red band. ‘Pinwheel’ has a white flower with red stripes. Many other named varieties are available to really let you ‘go nuts’ when it comes time to choose a colour scheme! Like its rhododendron and azalea cousins, mountain laurels prefer a moist, acidic soil, high in organic matter and well drained.  Planted in the right spot in your landscape, mountain laurels are not fussy and are easy to maintain. Pruning is seldom necessary; all you need to do is pinch off the spent flowers after the blooming season is over.

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