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Care of the plant Kalmia latifolia or Mountain laurel.

Care of the plant Kalmia latifolia or Mountain laurel

The genus Kalmia, family Ericaceae, comprises 8 species of shrubs native to North America and Cuba. Some species are: Kalmia latifolia, Kalmia polifolia, Kalmia angustifolia, Kalmia cuneata.

Common names: Mountain laurel, Calico-bush, Spoonwood. This species is native to the eastern United States.

They are lush evergreen shrubs of compact size that reach 4 meters in height. The leaves are lustrous and oval in shape. The gorgeous pink or white flowers are dish-shaped and appear in terminal corymbs. They bloom in summer.

They are used in large pots, as isolated specimens and in small bushy groups.

Kalmia latifolia needs a semi-shade exposure in regions with a Mediterranean or warm climate; in colder climates they are grown in full sun. They resist frost well.

They do not resist calcareous or clay soils. The soil can be a mixture of leaf mulch, peat, coarse sand, and manure. Planting is done in spring or autumn; pot transplantation can be done at any time.

Water frequently in summer and reduce watering the rest of the year; never water or let the substrate dry completely.

Fertilize every 15 days in spring with mineral fertilizer to promote flowering and with compost or manure in autumn.

Prune dead flowers and dry branches.

They are attacked by mites and aphids if they suffer drought; if the humidity is excessive they are attacked by fungi.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring (in the nursery or outdoors) and by cuttings in late summer.


Images of the plant Kalmia latifolia or Mountain laurel

Kalmia latifolia