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Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia 'Ostbo Red'

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Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'Ostbo Red') at Valley View Farms

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel flowers

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a


One of the most popular varieties, this incredible spring blooming broadleaf evergreen shrub has amazing frilled red buds which open to light pink flowers, colorful emergent foliage; needs superbly drained highly acidic and organic soil with a heavy mulch

Ornamental Features

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel features showy clusters of rose cup-shaped flowers at the ends of the branches from mid to late spring, which emerge from distinctive red flower buds. It has attractive dark green evergreen foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Ostbo Red Mountain Laurel will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features
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