Sand Myrtle Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
sand myrtle 'Maryfield'


Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield', commonly known as the Maryfield sandmyrtle, is a charming evergreen shrub celebrated for its compact and dense growth habit. This plant is adorned with small, leathery leaves that are glossy and dark green, resembling those of the boxwood, hence the name similarity. The foliage often takes on a striking bronze tint during the colder months, adding winter interest to the garden. The Maryfield sandmyrtle becomes a showcase of delicate beauty when in bloom, producing clusters of tiny, cup-shaped flowers. These blossoms are a soft pink color and have an intricate, symmetrical form that draws the eye. Each flower is composed of five petals that create a star-like pattern, making it look especially dainty and ornamental. This plant's overall shape is rounded, with a dense, mounded form that lends itself well to being used as a low hedge or a ground-covering plant. The thick foliage and branching habit make it an excellent choice for adding texture and structure to landscape designs. In terms of its appearance, the Maryfield sandmyrtle is a low-maintenance yet visually appealing plant that fits well in gardens aiming for year-round interest.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Maryfield Sandmyrtle, Maryfield Dwarf Mountain Laurel

    • Common names

      Kalmia buxifolia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Sheep Laurel is toxic to humans. All parts of the Sheep Laurel, including leaves, stems, and nectar, contain andromedotoxins, which are grayanotoxins that can disrupt cellular function. If ingested, these toxins can cause a range of symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, and potentially irregular heart rhythms. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to coma or death. Medical attention should be sought immediately if poisoning is suspected.

    • To pets

      Sheep Laurel is also toxic to pets. The toxicity stems from the plant's andromedotoxins found in its leaves, stems, and nectar, which are harmful if ingested by animals. Poisoning symptoms in pets may include drooling, vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, seizures, and in extreme cases, cardiac failure. It is considered a life-threatening plant, and immediate veterinary care is needed if ingestion is suspected to avert potentially fatal consequences.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Appeal - The plant features beautiful flowers that enhance the aesthetic value of landscapes and gardens.
    • Drought Tolerance - Once established, it is relatively drought-resistant, requiring less frequent watering.
    • Low Maintenance - It typically requires minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners with busy lifestyles.
    • Year-Round Interest - With evergreen foliage, it provides visual interest throughout all seasons.
    • Wildlife Habitat - It can serve as a habitat and food source for local wildlife, including birds and butterflies.
    • Cold Hardy - The plant is capable of surviving in colder climates, making it versatile for various landscapes.
    • Compact Size - Its small stature allows it to fit well in smaller garden spaces or as part of a mixed border.
    • Erosion Control - It can help prevent soil erosion when planted on slopes or in areas with loose soil.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • As a low maintenance ground cover for erosion control, Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield', commonly known as Sand-myrtle, can help stabilize soil on slopes or in garden areas prone to erosion due to its spreading habit.
    • In seashore or coastal gardens, Sand-myrtle is useful for its salt tolerance, providing greenery in challenging salty and windy environments.
    • The plant serves as a nectar source for bees and other pollinators, thus supporting local ecosystems and promoting biodiversity.
    • Due to its dense foliage, Sand-myrtle can be used as a natural privacy screen or hedge in landscaping to demarcate boundaries or obscure unattractive areas.
    • Its attractive flowers and evergreen leaves make Sand-myrtle suitable for ornamental pots or container gardens where space is limited or soil is poor.
    • Sand-myrtle’s resistance to deer browsing makes it an ideal choice for gardens in rural or suburban areas where deer predation is a problem.
    • For bonsai enthusiasts, Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield' provides an interesting species with small leaves and potential for dwarf form sculpting.
    • The plant's ability to grow in acidic soils allows it to be used in themed gardens that replicate heath or moorland environments.
    • Its evergreen nature makes Sand-myrtle an excellent choice for winter gardens, providing color and texture during the colder months.
    • It can be used in sensory gardens, as the texture of its leaves and the fragrance of its flowers can contribute to a multi-sensory experience.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Sandmyrtle is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Sandmyrtle is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance: Kalmia buxifolia, commonly known as Mountain Laurel, often symbolizes endurance given its ability to thrive in rocky and mountainous environments.
    • Beauty: With its stunning flowers, the Mountain Laurel is frequently associated with the symbol of beauty, celebrating aesthetic appreciation.
    • Protection: The evergreen nature of the plant, providing year-round cover, can symbolize protection and shelter.
    • Challenges: Some cultures believe the Mountain Laurel represents the overcoming of challenges or obstacles, possibly due to its growth in challenging terrains.
    • Success: The blossoming of its flowers can also symbolize success and the achievement of goals.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Sandmyrtle should be watered regularly to maintain moist but well-drained soil conditions, especially during its first growing season to establish a strong root system. Typically, giving the plant about 1 inch of water per week is sufficient, but this may need to be adjusted based on rainfall and temperature. If you're using a watering can or hose, aim to provide this amount in weekly increments, ensuring the soil has time to dry out slightly between waterings. Overhead watering is not recommended, as the leaves and flowers should be kept dry to prevent fungal diseases, so water at the base of the plant. A good method is to measure the amount of water by using a can or container that helps you track how many gallons you're applying, ensuring the soil is evenly saturated but not waterlogged.

  • sunLight

    Sandmyrtle thrives in conditions of partial shade to full sun. To provide optimal growth conditions, plant Sandmyrtle in a location where it will receive dappled sunlight throughout the day or direct morning sunlight followed by afternoon shade. Avoiding intense, direct afternoon sun can help protect the plant from potential scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Sandmyrtle prefers a temperate climate and is quite cold-hardy. It can tolerate minimum temperatures down to about -10°F but it thrives in areas where the temperature ranges between 60°F and 80°F. The ideal temperature conditions are consistent cooler temperatures rather than extreme heat, making it suitable for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.

  • scissorsPruning

    Sandmyrtle benefits from pruning to shape the plant, remove spent flowers, and encourage bushier growth. The best time to prune is immediately after the flowering season, as the plant blooms on old wood. Lightly pruning to shape the plant and cut out any dead or damaged wood can be done yearly. Avoid heavy pruning as this can harm the plant's natural shape and future blooms.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Sand Mountain Laurel requires well-drained, acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. A mixture of peat moss, pine bark, and sand or perlite in equal parts makes an ideal soil mix for this plant, providing good aeration and moisture retention.

  • plantRepotting

    Sand Mountain Laurel should be repotted every 2 to 3 years, or when it becomes root-bound. Springtime, just before the growing season begins, is the best time for repotting this plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Sand Mountain Laurel thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, typically preferring a range of 50-75%. Consistently high humidity mimics its natural growing conditions and supports its health.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and cool temperatures for indoor growth.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with moist, acidic soil outdoors.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield', also known as Sand-myrtle, begins its life cycle as a seed, which germinates in well-draining, acidic soil, typically in the shade of larger trees. After germination, the seedling grows slowly, developing a woody stem and evergreen leaves, reaching a mature shrubby form. This dwarf evergreen shrub will flower typically in spring, presenting clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers that attract pollinators. Following pollination, the flowers develop into dry capsule-like fruits that release seeds when mature, completing the reproductive cycle. Throughout its life, Sand-myrtle experiences seasonal changes with growth spurts in the spring and summer and periods of dormancy during the cold winter months. This plant can live many years, with a slow growth rate contributing to its longevity.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Kalmia buxifolia 'Maryfield', commonly known as the Maryfield mountain laurel, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. This method shares the advantage of producing plants genetically identical to the parent and allows for the replication of the 'Maryfield' cultivar's specific characteristics. The best time for taking cuttings is in the late summer to early fall when new growth has begun to mature but hasn't fully hardened. Cuttings about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long are taken from healthy, disease-free plants, ideally with several sets of leaves. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end is treated with a rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then placed in a pot filled with a well-draining rooting medium such as a mix of peat and perlite. The environment must maintain high humidity, often achieved by covering the pot with a plastic bag or placing it in a greenhouse, and kept out of direct sunlight. Roots typically establish within a few weeks to a couple of months, after which the new plant can be gradually acclimated to less humid conditions and eventually transplanted outdoors.