Kalmia latifolia - Mountain laurels are among the most beautiful of spring blooming shrubs, sporting clusters of blooms in a variety of colors. Like the laurels native to the eastern US, all prefer a slightly acidic soil (pH 4.5 - 6.0) and lots of rich humus. The best spots are those beneath other trees - lightly shaded with moist root conditions. Leaves are dark green and glossy. Many reach 20ft. in height, although most cultivars usually grow to 6-8ft, with some hardy to -20F (-28.8C).
Native Mountain Laurel (Calico Bush) - Evergreen shrub native to the Eastern US and the Appalachians with dark green glossy leaves and covered in spring in masses of apple blossom pink clusters of blooms. For anyone who has seen them growing wild, an almost unbelieveably beautiful sight. Hardy to -10F (-23.3C); height: 12-20ft.
|#792 Packet, $4.50 each, Approximately 500 seeds|
This method of sowing seeds is the best to use with very tiny dustlike seeds like Kalmia.
Take a flat or pot and fill it 3/4 full of moistened sterile planting medium (commercial seed starting mixes are fine, or you may make your own using a mix of 1 part sphagnum peat to 1 part sterile sand). Sow the seed on the surface evenly, making certain not to sow too densely. Place the flat inside a clear plastic bag and seal it shut with a twist tie.
Place the flat in a sunny room or greenhouse where the temperature reaches at least 68 degrees F during the day and drops slightly at night. (Don't place in direct sunlight.) Keep the flat moist, but not soggy. Water from the bottom by pouring water into the plastic bag. Remove any water not soaked up in an hour. Germination usually takes place from 2-4 weeks, but may take longer depending on the variety of seed. After germination, acclimate the seedlings to the room temperature over a 2-3 week period by misting the seedlings. Remember that once this process begins, you will have to water more frequently.
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