mountain laurel - Knowledgebase Question

kensington, md
Question by christina_co
July 22, 2007
One week ago I planted 2 mountain laurel shrubs (kalmia latifolia pinwheel) in front of my house. It receives full sun from 10 am until 3-4 pm right now. We dug a hole 2 times the rootball and mixed fertilized tree/shrub soil with native soil and placed mulch over. I have been watering every night for about 3-5 minutes. The leaves are turning yellow and falling off (especially on bottom branches), although there is some new growth.

Is there anything I can do to avoid loosing leaves or is this a settling in time for the tree? should I water more?
thank you.

Answer from NGA
July 22, 2007


It is normal for newly transplanted shrubs to go through a period of stress before becoming established. This can show up as yellowing leaves, wilting, and just general lackluster appearance. As soon as the roots become established, your mountain laurels will perk right up. Watering every day is excessive; constantly wet soil can drive out oxygen, which can suffocate roots. Adjust your watering schedule by providing one deep soaking per week. Build a watering well or watering basin beneath each plant. Fill the basin, allow to drain, then fill a second time. This will concentrate moisture over the rootmass and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root mass and encouraging deep rooting.

Your mountain laurels should perk up in a few weeks.


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