Kalmia Latifolia

Looking for an evergreen shrub fully hardy yet just that little bit more unusual,

then check out Kalmia Latifolia.

A dense bushy shrub with oval lance shaped glossy dark green leaves, new leaves are an interesting pink/bronze shade, flowers of pink/red and white in early Summer. Also known as the Calico bush or Mountain Laurel.

Several varieties avalable all of which are fully hardy. Tallest is Clementine Churchill at 10ft, with rich pink flowers,  Bullseye has red banded white flowers. The one chosen for our new border is Myrtifolia, the glossy leaves are two inches long, flowers in May/June are a pale pink.  With a height of four feet I think we have found the ideal spot in our garden for this little beauty.

Kalmia require an acidic soil and grow well in partial shade, in northern areas plant in a sunnier position where the soil is not too dry.

Hardiness – Fully Hardy

Position – Full sun/Partial shade. Plant in a moist humous rich acid soil. Mulch in Spring with leaf mould

Height – Tallest varieties 10ft, shorter ones 3/4 ft

© 2007 – 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Kalmia Latifolia

  1. my mum and i are looking for the laurel mentioned above and wondered if you could give us some info on it. can we buy thru post or is there somewhere you can suggest

  2. Why are the leaves on my Kalmia (freckles) going brown, I live in the South Island of New Zealand, and also how often should I water it, I love it and would hate to lose it.

    1. Hi Brenda, We just hate to lose plants especially those which we are extremely fond of. Kalmia, like Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias love acidic soil, do these plants also struggle to survive in your garden, if so the soil is not acidic enough. There is a fungal disease that goes for Kalmia, check out this link http://www.bartlett.com/resources/Plant-Health-Care-Recommendations-for-Mountain-Laurel.pdf, Make sure your shrub doesnt dry out especially in Summer and pick of those brown leaves.

  3. Have always wanted this lovely shrub, but, I thought it was too tender, if you can grow it in Scotland then I am sure it would be fine for us in the south of England, love your garden, really beautiful……..

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