We have an established kalmia bush(15 years) with no prior problems. This...

Asked June 9, 2014, 8:32 AM EDT

We have an established kalmia bush(15 years) with no prior problems. This year the blossoms developed but did not open. There is leaf droop on the entire plant with some leaves starting to develop extensive yellow areas. We have another kalmia in our yard which had no problems this year. Thanks for your help. Leigh

Montgomery County Maryland shrubs winter damage kalmia

1 Response

Your kalmia is probably suffering from winter damage. Kalmias are difficult to maintain in our zone and your ability to maintain it for so long is admirable. But, many other well established plants suffered from the severe cold we experienced this winter. We have enjoyed mild winters for a number of years in our area, so this was an unusual event.
You could administer the 'thumbnail' test and scrape some bark away on several branches. If the tissue beneath is green, give it time to recover. If the tissue is brown, you may have to prune out some dead wood.
LS