Learn all the details on how to grow and plant Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), an evergreen shade loving shrub with beautiful spring flowers.
When I first moved into my house, it was a brand new builder grade house. Which means that the only plants to be seen were the one small tree in the middle of the front yard and a few bushes lined up along the foundation of the house. In the backyard, there wasn’t even any grass growing.
Since I love to garden, I had to remedy that situation right away! It was the first time in my life that I had a garden with full sun. I was so happy to be able to plant all of the roses and hibiscus and peonies that I wanted, along with some other bushes and trees.
Of course, now that I have been here for a few years, all of those little bushes and trees have grown into much bigger bushes and trees. And I am back to having a mostly shady garden.
I’m not really complaining…it gets so hot here in the summer, I can use all the shade I can get! However, it does mean moving some of those roses around and filling in the gaps with some shade loving shrubs…which is where mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) comes into the picture.
Kalmia latifolia is a broad-leaf evergreen that is a native plant of eastern North America (always a bonus in my books!) and is actually the state flower of both Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
It is also a relative of the Rhododendron family…not quite as well known but has a lot of similar characteristics, including its ability to grow (and bloom) in the shade.
One word of caution though, the leaves of Mountain Laurel are poisonous if ingested, so it may not be a good plant for you if you have pets or young children that might try to eat them.
Keep reading to find out how to grow Mountain Laurel.