'Nipmunk' mountain laurel prepares to bloom. The buds are amazing. Photo by Doug Oster
How long would you wait to see a plant bloom?
Four years ago I planted three mountain laurel 'Nipmunck' shrubs I got cheap at the end of the season. One bit the dust, but the other two have looked healthy in the garden.
Deer are not supposed to eat mountain laurel as it's toxic to them. I think there were some young deer browsing which ended up with a stomach ache because for the last two years they nibbled all the buds off in late fall.
The last two winters have been tough on the plants too. Even though it's native and the Pennsylvania state flower, the Polar Vortex and subsequent winter were brutal.
I know from experience they take a while to catch on and resent transplanting.
But the wait is over and the plant has finally started to bloom.
The deep red buds are stunning and will give way to a light pink to creamy white flower.
As soon as it's done blooming, I'll fertilize with Hollytone to make the plants happy.
The key to getting more flowers will be to surround the plant with deer netting at the end of the season.
I've grown many plants that have made me wait, and I really don't mind.
Patience is one virtue that's always required for gardening.