In late winter the fragrance of Daphne plants can fill the garden. Perhaps the ultimate shade loving winter flowering plant for perfume, although some species do grow well in the sun.
The newer cultivars available for sale such as ‘Eternal Fragrance’ are more sun tolerant than others.
A sprig of daphne in the house adds a lovely perfume, and plants that are grown near pathways or in a pot near a door provide a sweet scent during winter.
Although Daphne Plants are attractive with nice glossy foliage it is the small flowers that are the main reason for buying these plants. Daphne require a humus rich moist soil in a semi shaded or dappled shade position.
Be aware that not all daphne are fragrant, and not all daphne are evergreen . The most common fragrant species is Daphne Odora and its many cultivars, all readily available for sale online.
- Daphne Odora is a winter flowering daphne suited to Zone 7 and prefers a shaded woodland position. Evergreen and fragrant with nice glossy foliage, well suited to next to a path where its fragrance can be appreciated.
- Daphne pontica
- Also consider the wonderful low growing species Daphne cneorum sometimes available for sale from Mail Order Nurseries.
- Another favourite is Daphne x. burkwoodii or ‘Carol Mackie Daphne’ The ‘Carol Mackie form’ has lovely cream margins to the leaves, slow growing and flowering in spring to summer. This plant has beautiful pink flowers
- Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’
- Daphne eschmannii
- Daphne collina is a lovely low growing summer flowering daphne with lilac flowers).
- Daphne genkwa is a species that loves sun and thrives in drier conditions.
- Daphne arbuscula
- Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’
- Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Somerset Gold Edge’
Daphne odora does make an excellent plant near a pathway or an entrance where the perfume can be appreciated. And like many species it can be grown in a container if required.
Daphne Odora and Daphne x. burkwoodii or ‘Carol Mackie Daphne’ are two of the most popular Daphne plants available for sale in the US. Sometimes seen as ‘difficult to grow’, given the right conditions and a little care they will reward you with masses of flowers.
Seen as winter flowering shrubs, this is true for many species, although not all.
In general these are an easy care plant for a shaded position.
Daphne plants do not like to moved, so find a suitable position in a shaded area prepare the soil, humus rich well drained, and plant.
Although it is said that they require very little pruning, they do benefit from regular tip pruning. This promotes a good bushy shape.
So perhaps pick a few flowering sprigs for indoors, and remove any damaged growth, that is all that is requires.
Most Daphne plants will never get more than 3ft in height, especially if you pick a sprig or two every week when they are in flower.
They do appreciate some fertilizer during the growing period. Mulch around the roots to provide a cool moist root run
Daphne Problems and Diseases
Yellow leaves on Daphne plants can be caused by a number of factors.
In winter as the flowers appear Daphnes will shed a few of the older leaves and these will go yellow.
Yellow leaves can also be caused by poorly drained soil, the solution here is to improve the drainage by amending the soil structure or planting the daphne in a raise the garden bed.
A mineral deficiency which causes a lack of iron or magnesium is another common problem.
This can be overcome by applying a all purpose Camellia / Azalea fertiliser, or some iron chelate.
Epsom salts used as a foliar sprays are another solution, however usually a short term solution.
Daphne Plants are available for sale from the following nurseries
TINY TREASURES NURSERY
PO Box 20250 Keizer OR 97307 phone: 503-463-8602 fax: 503-390-0028
Rare plants from unusual places! Daphne, Hebe, Dwarf Conifers, and Bonsai starts.