Daphne: Deeply Fragrant Winter Blooms

The beautiful shrubs of Daphne are the first aromatic welcome to spring and a final goodbye to winter. This late-winter to early-spring perennial is known for its rich fragrance and is often planted near gates or entry ways where the semi-evergreen to evergreen plant can be enjoyed in the cooler months of the year. With beautiful blooms in pink, purple, or white, this shade loving plant is an excellent companion in the garden for a variety of other perennials.

Daphne thrives in many different garden-types and work well in beds, borders, or even rock gardens. Since it has an extensive and deep root system, Daphne doesn't perform well in pots, so be sure to give her direct access to well-draining soil. This is a great option for east or north facing gardens.

Create a Sensory Experience Just by Coming Home

Daphne is often planted near the front doors of homes so she can release her sweet scent as you walk by and will perform best in zones 6-10. While Daphne produces small, four-petaled flowers grown in clusters, the amount of sweet scent mixed with a pop of citrus notes that she exudes is astounding. This perennial is a great addition to any semi-shaded area for her faithful foliage and crisp, notable perfume.

Planting and Care

This perennial prefers to be planted in spring so she can have time to get established before the warmer months arrive. Choose a location that gives dappled shade as most varieties don't prefer direct sunlight. Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and just as deep, loosen the roots gently if they are bound tight, and place the root ball into the hole ensuring that it is peaking about 2” above the soil. Pack the dirt around the plant to ensure she is upright and that the root ball is slightly exposed. Water thoroughly. Daphne will benefit from a thick layer of mulch around the rootball to combat weeds and retain moisture.

Your new Daphne will need to be watered with at least 1” of water every week for the next 8-10 weeks. After which, she will be well established and will only need supplemental watering when the temperatures are quite hot and your garden is experiencing a dry spell. If you have particularly sandy soil or very limited rainfall, water weekly throughout the growing season. 

Daphne are slow growing plants that don’t require fertilization on a regular basis. We encourage top dressing with fresh compost each season to give her a small boost of nutrients, but more than anything, she needs patience and ample space to reach her full width and height.

As a shrub, Daphne cannot be divided like other perennials, but she can be propagated if you want to take cuttings of her stems and transplant those. 

The favorite for us this season is: Marianni Daphne