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Kalmia Latifolia Elf

Kalmia latifolia (Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs) is semi-dwarf evergreen laurel with light pink flowering and white overtones. These clusters of pink buds bloom in May, gradually opening to whiter flowers. Its leaves are long and narrow, with smaller foliage - a good plant for groupings, especially in a semi-shade woodland garden.


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Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs for Sale Online

Kalmia latifolia Elf, aka Dwarf Mountain Laurel, flowers in May and are light pink with white overtones and pink center. The leaves of Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs are long, narrow, deep evergreen.

Growing Zone: 4-8
Mature Height: 2 to 3 Feet
Mature Width: 2 to 4 Feet
Classification: Broadleaf evergreen shrub, flowers in May
Sunlight: Part sun to part shade
Habit: Upright, great for naturalizing
Foliage: Evergreen
Flower Color: Light pink buds with white flowers
Pruning Season: Prune lightly after bloom to promote bushy growth
Soil Condition: Moist, rich, acidic, humusy, well-drained soils
Water Requirements: Water well until established
Uses: Tolerates moist soil and partial shade or full sun

Before you buy an Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs, make sure to read about the recommended care instructions to keep this plant healthy and thriving.


We suggest when planting your newly purchased Kalmia latifolia Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. Depending on the quality of your existing soil, you may need to add a locally-sourced compost or topsoil to the backfill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a backfill soil for Elf Mountain Laurel because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots of Elf Mountain Shrubs spread through the loose, nutrient-rich soil much easier than if you used solely the existing soil, which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant too deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole.


After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Kalmia latifolia Elf a good, deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example, a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5; a three gallon pot would be 15; and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks.


Azaleas such as Kalmia Elf Mountain grow best if they are fertilized lightly in the spring once frost has passed with a well-balanced, extended-release, fertilizer such as Espoma Holly-tone. Fertilize Mountain Laurel again 6 to 8 weeks later to encourage extra flowers or faster growth of young shrubs. Either chemical fertilizers or organic matter can be used successfully with Kalmia latifolias. Since an organic method of applying manure and/or compost around the roots, produces excellent results and also improves the condition of the soil, this would be an excellent first line of attack. Organic additions to the soil can also be combined with a shot of chemical fertilizer for maximum effect.


We highly recommend that you mulch your Elf Mountain Laurel Kalmia Latifolia with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do, but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away that will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch is sufficient, but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one-inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or trunk of the plant.

How do I prune Elf Mountain Kalmia latifolia?

The Mountain Laurel shrub is known for its brilliant summer display of cherry pink blooms, in early to mid summer. In general gardening terms, pruning is probably the most misunderstood gardening chore, and certainly, the chore that is most likely neglected. When we specifically look at pruning with regards to Dwarf Elf Mountain Kalmia latifolias, this misunderstanding and negligence can be magnified. Pruning has been described as a “combination of art and science.” I find pruning to be one of the most relaxing yet rewarding chores in the garden. Pruning a specific plant to look a specific way, involves art in creating a unique definition for a specific plant, and it involves science in understanding the physical growing habits of the plant to be pruned. The most important reason for pruning Kalmia Mountain Laurel is to improve the overall health of the plant which in turn will reward you with a plethora of blooms. Removing the dead and dying limbs will minimize the possibility of diseases and will also allow the plant to re-concentrate its energies and produce flowers. It is also important to understand the specific growing characteristic of a certain Kalmia latifolia Elf when pruning that particular plant. When pruning established Kalmia latifolias where no labeling is present on a variety to identify it, you need to look at the general growth patterns of the plant to be pruned. These observations should give you a good idea of how the plant tends to grow, and also how and when you should prune the plant. It is important to always use sharp tools when pruning Kalmia latifolias or any plant for that matter. Knives, hand cutters, saws, and shears should be sharpened if necessary before pruning any plant. A sharp cut will heal quicker than a jagged cut, which will also minimize the likelihood of disease investing a cut during pruning. It is generally recommended to not use power equipment such as gas hedgers to prune Dwarf Elf Mountain Laurel Shrubs.