Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:41 pm
The laurel rose is still quite rare in domestic gardens, but its pretty flowers make it a real eye-catcher. In this article you will learn how to plant and care for the evergreen mountain laurel properly.
Growing as a dense shrub, the mountain laurel is native primarily to the mountain forests of North America. However, this evergreen plant with its white, pink and rose-colored blooms can also grow in our latitudes. The state flower of Pennsylvania and Connecticut is somewhat reminiscent of the rhododendron with its appearance, but is easier to care for. As a rule, the bay rose grows upright and doesn’t require much space, which is why you can plant it well in smaller gardens.
Laurel rose: how to plant it correctly
ln its native North America, the bay rose can grow up to 12 meters high, but in the garden it does not reach this height. Nevertheless, its flowers, which start to appear in April, are very pretty to look at. In well-stocked garden centers, the bay rose is mainly offered as a potted plant that you can plant out in the garden. Pay attention to the following tips:
- The right time: It is best to plant the bay rose between September and May. It is important that you choose a frost-free day so that the roots of the young shrub do not freeze.
- The right location: A semi-shaded and well wind-protected place is particularly suitable for the bay rose. The lush flowering shrub also thrives well in sunnier locations. However, blazing sun and light reflected from windows can quickly burn the leaves of the mountain laurel. As a container plant, you can also place the shrub on the balcony or patio.
- The right soil: In well-drained and slightly moist soil with a good drainage layer, the mountain laurel rose feels most at home. Also make sure that the soil has a high humus content and a slightly acidic pH between 4.5 and 5.5.
Planting laurel rose correctly: You can either plant the bay rose individually or combine it with azaleas or rhododendrons.
- Prepare particularly heavy soil for the bay rose by digging well throughout the bed, loosening it up and subsoiling it with some coarse sand.
- Dig a planting hole for the bay rose at the site, which should be at least twice the size of the root ball.
- Additionally enrich the excavated soil with some rotted leaves and humus.
- Place a drainage layer of gravel or clay shards at the bottom of the planting hole.
- Place the bay rose with the root ball in a bucket of water and let it soak up properly.
- Now place the watered bay rose in the planting hole and fill in the enriched soil again.
- Finally, tamp the soil down lightly and water the plant generously.
Caution: the only downside to the bay rose is that, as a poisonous plant, it can pose a danger to pets and children. Always wear gloves when touching the plant and dispose of cut leaves and branches safely so that neither children nor animals can accidentally eat the poisonous plant parts.
Proper care for the rose
Planted in the right location, the bay rose requires little care and is also very frost-hardy in winter. With a few tips, you can ensure that the hardy plant thrives particularly well:
- Watering: waterlogging and excessively dry soil can quickly become dangerous for the bay rose. Because of its relatively shallow-growing roots, you must therefore water the shrub relatively regularly. It is best to use low-lime rainwater from the barrel. With a mulch layer of bark or pine needles, you can prevent the watering water from evaporating too quickly.
- Fertilize: If the soil at the location contains enough humus, you usually only need to fertilize the bay rose after a few years. Once a year you can enrich the soil with some compost.
- Pruning: To ensure that the laurel rose regularly forms new flowers, you should clean out faded inflorescences. The shrub rarely needs pruning as it grows quite slowly. However, you can remove dead or stunted branches every year in spring. Be sure to wear gloves to protect yourself from the poisonous sap.
- Wintering: Since the bay rose grows in mountain forests, it can cope well with winter temperatures even in our latitudes. However, you should wrap container plants with fleece or jute and place them on a wooden block.
- Diseases and pests: Most pests give the bay rose a wide berth. Only the weevil can be dangerous to the shrub if it eats at its roots.