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How Do I Take Care of a Daphne Plant?

Updated July 20, 2017

Daphne plants are easy to grow, and their colour and scent make them a great addition to your landscape. Intensely fragrant flowers appear in late March to early April, and the clusters of lilac to rosy purple blooms emerge before the leaves. The blooms fade as the green-blue leaves develop. In July, the plant's red berries appear. This deciduous plant sheds its leaves in winter.

Basic Care Guidelines

Daphne plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, so a location facing north to northeast is recommended. Water regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Daphne plants should be grown in well-draining soil; a mixture of equal parts soil, sand and peat is ideal. If the soil remains too wet, the plant will quickly die.

Fertilisation

Daphne plants are sensitive to chemicals, so it is best to avoid using fertiliser. A better result is achieved by spreading a thin layer of aged manure or compost on the soil around the plant each spring.

Pruning

If shaping is desired, prune only what is necessary, as the Daphne plant does not tolerate drastic pruning. Any pruning should take place after flowering is complete. Daphne plants flower on the prior year's growth, so if you prune before flowering, you will adversely affect the blooms. Any dieback on the plant should be immediately pruned to the base of the plant.

Cautions

Research the Daphne plant thoroughly before deciding to add it to your garden. While the plant does provide beautiful colour and an intoxicating fragrance, the leaves and berries on some are poisonous. Skin contact with these leaves or berries can cause irritation, redness and swelling. Human ingestion of the leaves or berries can be fatal.

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About the Author

Ma Picard began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in various media, both print and online. Writing topics include health and wellness, literature, family issues, gardening and simplicity. Her work appears on eHow, One Healthy Lifestyle, North Valley Magazine, and several other websites. With experience in an ever-growing variety of fields, Picard writes to share her knowledge with the world.