Daphne is a genus of small shrubs that vary greatly in size, shape and habit. For example, winter daphne (Daphne odour) is a small evergreen shrub that develops fragrant rose-coloured flowers in winter, while Caucasian daphne (Daphne Caucasia) is a deciduous shrub that blooms through summer and produces large black fruits. In general, daphne shrubs require moist, well-drained soils to thrive in home landscapes. With proper preparation and planting, daphne is an easy shrub to grow in home gardens.
Find a suitable planting location on your property. Some species prefer full sunlight while others tolerate partial shade. Whatever species you choose, locate it in a dry area in your garden that is not exposed to high winds or contains heavy clay soil. Most daphne shrubs have tender foliage and root systems.
Prepare the planting location by creating a raised bed to plant daphne. Dig up the parent soil at the planting location and thoroughly mix in a large volume of organic compost such as leaf litter or manure to improve drainage and supply additional nutrients for young plants. The amended soil in the raised bed planting location should be 12 to 18 inches above the original soil line.
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of the daphne plant and thoroughly water the plant into the hole. Backfill around the base of the daphne and plant it at the same depth as the nursery container.
Place a thin layer -- 2 to 3 inches deep -- of organic mulch around the base of the plant. Mulch helps retain soil moisture, prevents weeds from competing with young plants and also protects the roots from temperature fluctuations.
Trim spent flower buds with pruning shears after blooming to prevent the shrub from developing a woody, leggy appearance.
Water daphne plants infrequently -- only enough to keep the plants alive -- since they are highly sensitive to standing water and wet soil conditions.
Things you need
- Organic compost
- Pruning shears
- University of Washington Botanic Gardens; Gardening Answers Knowledgebase; August 2010
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Daphne
- North Carolina State University; Caucasian Daphne; Erv Evans
- University of Idaho; Carol Mackie Daphne; Mary L. James
- North Dakota State University; Deciduous Shrubs; Todd Weinmann
- Washington State University; Winter Flowering Shrubs; Valerie Jean Rose; November 2010