A showy shrub native to eastern North America, mountain laurel is closely related to azaleas and rhododendrons. It grows in a large, rounded mound and has dark green foliage that remains on the plant all year. In late spring, it bears clusters of flowers in white, pink, and red.
Like most rhododendrons and azaleas, mountain laurel needs soil with an acidic pH. It prefers ground that's moist, well-drained, and high in organic matter, so amend average soil with compost or peat moss before planting. Mountain laurel tolerates full sun in moist soil, though it does better in partial shade if the soil tends to get dry.
All parts of mountain laurels are poisonous.
More varieties for Mountain laurel
'Elf' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Elf' was the first dwarf mountain laurel introduced. It has large pink buds that open to nearly white flowers. It grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9
'Minuet' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Minuet' is an outstanding dwarf selection that bears light pink buds and pink flowers with a bold red band. It grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Olympic Fire' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Olympic Fire' shows off red-pink buds that open to dark pink flowers. It grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Peppermint' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Peppermint' offers unique white flowers with dark red streaks running to the edges. It grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Snowdrift' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Snowdrift' is considered one of the best pure-white selections. It has rich, dark green foliage that's very shiny. It grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9
'Tinkerbell' mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia 'Tinkerbell' is a dwarf selection that bears deep pink buds that open to reveal rich pink flowers. It grows 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9