In the Garden Now: Winter Daphne

Monday, April 1, 2024

Winter Daphne
Photo by Victoria Gilleland
By Victoria Gilleland

This amazing Daphne is loaded with super fragrant pink and white flowers. There was some foliage damage because of our deep freeze temperatures in January this year but blossoms opened successfully and are numerous and hyper scented. All the better to attract eager pollinators!

It's true that daphne shrubs can be difficult to grow. One of the easier varieties to grow is Winter Daphne. They often do okay in the home garden if they are not transplanted or disturbed in any way. What might disturb this or any other daphne is the mystery!

I have one Winter Daphne that is well over 15 years old and thriving. It's located in a garden bed on the north side of the house, gets very little sun, and little water beyond what nature provides. The soil is a sandy loam. This plant has been a beautiful trouble-free addition to the garden from day one!

On the other hand, I've added other Winter Daphne to a garden bed or large pot and had them looking healthy for a season or two and then watched them gradually shrivel up and die for no apparent reason. I know that at least one Daphne that had been growing cheerfully in a container for many years died shortly after being transplanted to a nearby garden bed. I figured it was probably very rootbound, which it was. I should have left this Daphne alone. It was happy! I'm sure that transplanting sent it to an early grave.

In spite of its finicky nature Winter Daphne is a very popular shrub. Many have shared that Winter Daphne was a loved one's favorite flower and one they are growing or would like to grow as a memorial plant in their garden. With that heady fragrance, colorful flowers early in the year, and lovely evergreen foliage Winter Daphne surely deserves a chance!

(Daphne odora)


Anonymous,  April 1, 2024 at 12:33 PM  

I agree, Daphne odora is one of my favorite shrubs and can be very finicky! I have had two for 15 plus years. I just lost one this winter due to the snow and cold. I will definitely replace it with another Daphne.

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