Kalmia (Mountain Laurel)

Plants of the Kalmia genus are relatively small shrubs, which can be grown in containers throughout their lives and which will also brighten up your stay with their magnificent flowers.

Its maintenance is quite simple, since being adaptable they will not give us problems. Discover them.

Origin and characteristics

Image – Wikimedia/ David J. Stang

Kalmia are evergreen shrubs native to North America, Europe, and Cuba. They are popularly known as mountain laurel or azalea (but you have to be careful not to confuse them). They grow to a height of between 20 and 250cm.

Its leaves are simple, lanceolate, spirally arranged and 2-13cm long. The flowers are grouped in corymbs of 10-50 units, white, pink or purple. And the fruit is a capsule with five lobes inside which we will find numerous seeds. All its parts are toxic.

The genus is made up of about 26 species, among which are:

  • K. angustifolia
  • K. buxifolia
  • K. ericoides
  • K. microphylla
  • K. procumbens
  • K. latifolia

They are plants that are very similar to rhodondendrons, not only because of their characteristics but also because of their growth rate, which is rather slow.

What are their cares?

Image – Wikimedia/ Vlmastra

If you want to have a copy of Kalmia, we recommend providing the following care:

  • Location: they must be outside, in an area protected from direct sun.
  • Soil: fertile, well drained, and slightly acidic (pH 5 to 6.5).
    • Pot: substrate for acidic plants mixed with 30% perlite.
    • Garden: sandy, loose, rich in organic matter.
  • Watering: 3-4 times a week in summer, somewhat less the rest of the year. Use rainwater or lime-free.
  • Fertilizer: in spring and summer with fertilizer for acid plants. It is advisable to use liquid fertilizers if it is potted so that the drainage continues to be good.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Planting time: in spring.
  • Rusticity: resistant to -5ºC.

Did you know the Kalmia?

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