Mountain Laurel

Bonsai Iterate

Because there is such an abundance of Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) in the woods near my home, I decided to collect this small specimen to see how it would respond to bonsai techniques. I dug it last spring (2016) and it did absolutely nothing all summer.

A push of new leaves this spring led me to remove all of the old and damaged leaves in favor of the fresh, and more numerous ones. Below is what some of those old leaves looked like:

So, one year into this experiment here’s what I know:

  • I can keep them alive.
  • Recovery from digging may be very slow. Be patient!
  • Backbudding will occur. This will require patience as well as the backbudding is very small and will take time to develop growing strength.

I will watch and learn over this growing season to see how this plant continues to grow and develop. I…

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