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Kalmia latifolia ‘Elf’

Kalmia latifolia ‘Elf’
Posted by Danielle from MI on 2005-12-03 09:58:00

In late fall i received a Kalmia latifolia ‘Elf’ i have placed it in a large pot and have it in my home until it can be planted outdoors. initially it was thriving now the leaves are turning brown and i have been pruning it but it is really strugling... any suggestions????? Please this was given to me by a family friend at the event of my grandmothers death... her name was laurel ..
  • Kalmia latifolia
    Posted by Jeannie from Ontario 5 on 2005-12-28 07:58:00

    Mountain Laurel (kalmia) is an acid-loving plant....the soil would have to be somewhat with a pH of 6.0 6.5

    Considering the size of the plant and the volume of soil it is sitting in, would determine how much acidifying you'd have to do. Better to do that in the spring ....just like its cousin ...the rhododendron.

    Any time you bring a plant in from its natural environment inside a heated home, you can expect something to happen. With the loss of moisture, and increasing temperatures of the home, I think its safe to assume that its leaves will show the first effects.

    Dryness can occur if the plant is in a direct path of air currents....from an open door or window or from the heat vent. Any abrupt change of temperature on the leaves will cause them to dry out fast.

    Your kalmia is undoubtedly at the present time in a dormant state...it will begin to replenish new leaves when the sun values return to the northern regions round about mid February and at the present time is not in need of so much watering. Still it be must be given good light so putting it right close to the window in a southern or western exposure is I think important.

    Let it go dry in between waterings and when you water, water well...always to the point of drainage. Then allow full drainage before you dump the excess in the saucer below it.
    Do not feed your plant until new leaves are produced in the spring.

    I haven't seen any mention about whether your laurel appreciate lower nighttime temperatures. Most houseplants do prefer temperatures in the 65 F range. They use much less water again in such temperatures and the plant is not pushed to come out of dormancy sooner than it might.
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