Kalmia Latifolia

10 Jun

My live-in personal gardener planted the Mountain Laurel last night. It is ‘Pinwheel’ and was found at the local Agway, of all places!  And purchased for a low price, based on my remembrance of longing for one in the past.

kalmia and JWe chose a protected site and watered it in with Muracid water.  Our soil is acidic with all the spruces, but this plant likes acid.  It was newly potted in mix that offered no nutriment, but it must have been fertilized since it is in full bloom:



2 Responses to “Kalmia Latifolia”

  1. rsmallen 10 June 2009 at 12:38 PM #

    I am a Mountain Laurel fan too. I have one of the straight species that I purchased b&B a few years ago. It’s looking pretty chlorotic since they don’t transplant all that well. I really had wanted Bullseye and haven’t been able to find it until this year. I ordered two. One for a hole and one to replace my sorry looking one. I’ve been using Miracid on my already slightly acidic soil but it is apparently not enough. I’ve always used Holly Tone in the past with great results…I think I’m switching back. Good luck with yours…Pinwheel is a lovely variety!

  2. origamifreak 10 June 2009 at 1:28 PM #

    I loathe Kalmia. Not because it isn’t pretty. But because it’s simply *awful* to hike through.

    You see, I both took and TAd graduate level field ecology at UCONN, and the bulk of the course consisted of plotting and taking data on assigned compass-line transects through various plant communities in northwestern CT. Where there is a lot of Kalmia.

    Usually we’d try to avoid it, but sometimes we’d accidentally take a wrong (compass) turn or something and have to go *through* rather than around. It’s miserable on a hot, sticky day to try and navigate UPHILL through a tangle of branches while carrying shovels, clipboards, backpacks, tree corers, soil corers, field guides, and other assorted implements. We’d come out of the bushes looking like we’d been in a war, covered with scratches, our clothes torn, itchy, hot, and grumpy. And if it HAD been a war, then the Kalmia had most definitely won.

    After even one experience like that we got very very skilled at recognizing Kalmia from the aerial photographs that had been taken in winter – and at designing (and following) compass lines that did not involve contact.

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