The Q&A Archives: Growing Mountain Laurels In California

Question: Can you grow either the Kalmia latifolia or Sophora secundiflora in Southern California? If you can't, what kind of laurel trees would you suggest?

Answer: Kalmia latifolia will grow in your area, as long as you provide partial shade during the growing season and protect it from winter sun and wind (which could cause dehydration). Sophora secundiflora is native to Texas and New Mexico and can be very slow-growing in your mild summer region. (It thrives in heat and alkaline soil.) Place it in the sunniest spot you have and water regularly during the growing season for best performance.

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