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Kalmia Raspberry Glow – Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia 'Raspberry Glow'

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2 Gallon Out of stock
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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me

The Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel has proven to be the easiest-to-grow variety of this beautiful native plant. It forms a broad, upright bush 4 feet tall, and 3½ feet wide, with long evergreen leaves that are glossy, deep green, and attractively wavy and twisted. The big domes of flower buds are vibrant raspberry red, and they open to a bright pink cup-shaped bloom. Flower color is bright pink. This is our top recommendation if you haven’t grown mountain laurels before.

  • Beautiful raspberry red buds in large clusters
  • Flowers open bright pink
  • Flower color is bright even in full shade
  • Excellent evergreen foliage with wavy edges and twists
  • #1 recommended variety for your first mountain laurel

The Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel will grow in full sun in damp soil, or in partial shade and even in full shade. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal, or the filtered light through deciduous trees. The soil should be moist, rich, well-drained and acidic, and sandy soils are ideal. Mulch with lime-free materials like peat moss to keep the roots cool and moist. If you don’t have the right soil in your garden, then grow it in a pot, in soil recommended for acid-loving plants.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 3.5
Mature Height 4
Soil Conditions Well-Drained Soil
Sunlight Partial Shade
Drought Tolerance Moderate Drought Tolerance
Zones 5-9

Everyone agrees that mountain laurels, or calico flowers as they are sometimes called, are beautiful. They are stunningly so, with large rounded heads of blooms topping every stem, and lasting for weeks. But they do have some specific needs if they are to thrive, and not everyone has the perfect garden for them. If you are not sure they will grow for you, then it makes sense to start with a variety that has proved itself much more resistant to less-than-perfect conditions. Thriving where other varieties fail, and holding its strong flower colors even in full shade, the Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel is certainly the variety to start with if you want to grow these lovely plants, but you aren’t sure how well they will do.

Growing Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel

The Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel is a rounded, evergreen shrub that grows to be about 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet across, with leaves to the ground for a long time, eventually developing an attractive gnarly base of twisted stems. The oval evergreen leaves are leathery, glossy and rich green in color, with undulating edges, and an elegant twist to their form. They are 2 to 5 inches long, and when not in flower this is still an attractive evergreen that has real substance and form. The new leafy shoots are a deep purple-red color when they first emerge, adding more seasonal color to this plant.

Characteristics

The flowers appear first as deep red, scaly shoots emerging in winter from among the leaves at the ends of the branches. These develop into rounded domes of many buds, with a unique, pointed, five-sided conical form, which are bright raspberry red and extremely attractive. They last for weeks, before opening into large, one-inch diameter flowers that are formed like five-sided bowls, with prominent and decorative stamens. The flowers are a rich pink, and the mixture of red buds and pink flowers as they gradually open is simply gorgeous. Flowers last for weeks, and this plant has a very long flowering season, beginning in late May or early June, after the first flush of spring flowers is over.

You can grow the Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel among the foundation plants around your home, or in beds as a mid-sized shrub. With its evergreen foliage it gives good structure even when not blooming. Plant it in wooded areas, beneath shade trees, or on sloping ground. It is also a good plant for boxes and planters, living for many years and blooming well in a pot. This is also the best option if you don’t have the ideal soil for this plant in your garden.

Planting and Initial Care

We suggest this plant as perfect for your first planting of mountain laurel because in scientific trials at the University of Connecticut it grew in adverse landscape situations much better than any other variety in the trial. You can take this as a reliable, proven fact. It will be less subject to foliar burn and leaf-spot problems, and it will tolerate poorer soil better. Nevertheless, it is still a mountain laurel, so the basic requirements still hold. Grow it in partial shade, with morning sun and afternoon shade for the best results, although it will grow in deeper shade without the flower color fading, as it often does in other varieties. The soil should be well-drained, rich and preferably sandy – heavy clay soils are not tolerated well. Planting in raised beds or on slopes will help it grow in heavier soils. The soil should be acidic, with a pH of 6 or less, and ideally between 5.5 and 4.5. Add lime-free organic material like rotted leaves or peat moss to the soil when planting and use more as a mulch to keep the soil cool and moist, especially when exposed to more sun. Pests and diseases are normally not serious if the growing conditions are good. The only care needed is to keep it well-watered during dry weather, and to remove the flower heads as they fade (don’t cut off the tip of the stem, just the flower stalks). This will encourage maximum flowering for the following year.

History and Origins of Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel

The Raspberry Glow Mountain Laurel is a special form of the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia. The wild plant grows across the eastern half of America, from southern Maine and New England all the way to northern Florida. Both Pennsylvania and Connecticut claim it as their state flower. Wild plants are usually between 5 and 15 feet tall, growing beneath trees in mountain forests. The flowers on wild bushes are usually light pink, fading to white. We owe the variety ‘Raspberry Glow’ to the geneticist and plant breeder Richard A. Jaynes, who created many new forms, and helped make this plant popular in gardens. While working at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven he did many crosses between different unique plants of the mountain laurel. In 1974 he made a cross with a variety he had created in 1970, called ‘Pink Charm’. Among the seedlings he selected one with especially bright buds, and rich pink flowers, which he called ‘Raspberry Glow’. After years of trials it was introduced and released to nursery growers in 1984. This variety has become a classic and the #1 recommendation for your first mountain laurel. Our stock is limited, so order now – you won’t regret it when you see those wonderful blooms, even if your garden is not ideal for these plants. 

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Kalmia Raspberry Glow – Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia 'Raspberry Glow'

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