The Q&A Archives: Mountain Laurel

Question: My Mountain Laurel has many branches that do not produce flowers. It is in bloom now. When and how such I prune it? Should I fertilize it for added growth and flowers? Thanks.

Answer: Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) tends to be a shy bloomer and needs to mature to a certain age before it will bloom well. Assuming the plant is healthy and growing well, all you can do is be patient. In some cases a sunnier location will encourage a plant to bloom better than in deeper shade. If you decide to prune, wait until the flowering has stopped and then trim back up to one-third. Your plant should respond with lots of healthy new growth, and lots of flowers next year. You can feed your shrub with a 5-10-10 general purpose garden fertilizer, in amounts as recommended on the label.

Best wishes with your garden!

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