Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Daphne Plant Profile

Daphne Plant Profile

Daphne (Daphne spp.) is a small shrub with highly fragrant flowers in late winter and early spring. Many of them are evergreen. Daphne shrubs are hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9. 

Daphnes need great drainage. Plant them in a raised bed or on a slight slope. If you have clay soil, amend it with lots of leaf compost and spread a layer of poultry grit or expanded slate in the bottom of the planting hole. Be careful not to overwater it, but note that it should not be left to dry out as that will damage its delicate feeder roots.

They need morning sun and afternoon shade to thrive. Plant it in a protected location that is at least shielded from cold, drying winds.

Daphnes don’t need a lot of pruning, but you can occasionally trim them to maintain their shape.

Daphnes are known to be temperamental and are sensitive to certain pathogens and root rot. They are prone to sudden, inexplicable death.  They also resent being moved so plant them well and do not move them again.

Note that the berries and all parts of Daphne odora are poisonous, so be cautious about planting them where young children or pets may eat them.

Daphne odora grows three to four feet tall, with a two to four foot spread, and forms a dense mound.

Daphne odora ‘Aureo-Marginata’ is the most aromatic of the species as well as much being hardier than other cultivars.

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ is a genetic mutation or chimera of Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Somerset’. It is prized for its stunning variegation and fragrant bloom. It was originally discovered in a New Jersey garden.

Daphne: You Can Grow That!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.

Video and editing by Jessica Harden

Audio and text by Kathy Jentz

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~ Podcast: GardenDC


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