Caring For Mountain Laurel Shrubs

Mountain laurel shrubs are very popular ornamental plants because of their glossy evergreen foliage and clustered spring flowers, ideal for cold weather regions. They are low maintenance and can even be used as borders or hedges because they grow rather tall, reaching up to 10 meters, but their growth rate is slow so it requires minimal pruning. You can find many colours to choose from in nurseries; it’s best to get them from a nursery to make sure the plant is healthy and it also makes transplanting it easier, as it has a fragile, rather shallow root system.

You should place it in acidic, well-drained soil somewhere in partial shade – full sunlight can damage the roots and full shade may inhibit flower growth. The soil should be kept moist, so you can add mulch (preferably pine needles and wood chips) to help with that and you might want to mix the soil with sand to help drainage. It should be watered plenty until it establishes itself and the crown should not be planted deep or it might develop rot which could prove fatal.

You could feed it during early spring or late fall, in small amounts – you could even use a slow release fertilizer for this purpose. As for pruning, as we’ve said it doesn’t need much pruning, just the occasional removal of seed heads during flowering season and should you want to keep it at a certain height.

If you have pets you needn’t be alarmed, it’s true that the plant is toxic to humans – and should you ever ingest any part of it you should immediately go to the hospital, but as far as pets go, they don’t seem to be affected in any way.

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