We Love Daphne
|Daphne with new growth|
Amidst all the spring performers, though, the Daphne has a special quality in addition to its charming fuschia and white blooms—the sweetest perfume around. The first time I really became aware of this talent of the Daphne I was walking in downtown Medford and was amazed at the enchanting aroma created by a hedge of Daphne growing in a planter alongside an otherwise commonplace brick building. I was simply struck by the powerful smell wafting from somewhere, almost as though a dryer vent with one of those fabric softener sheets were blowing across my path. Don’t get me wrong, Daphne’s scent is much more sophisticated than any fabric softener ever intended to be, it was just so STRONG.
Daphne grow 2 to 3 feet high and slightly wider, so they are a nice smaller shrub to add to your landscaping. The fact that they are smaller makes them a great candidate for planting at an entryway or near a window that you like to open just as soon as the weather is warm enough to let some fresh air in the house.
It’s that perfume you want to enjoy, so put Daphne in a place where you will walk or in some other way naturally come near! They are hardy in our climate zone, and could be described as “semi-deciduous.” What a sweet surprise it is when this plant blooms and first sends out its captivating smell.
|Daphne with blooms|
A Few Planting Tips
Plant carefully, digging the hole twice as wide as the root ball. Be sure to water well after you have replaced half the soil to eliminate any air pockets that might have formed as you began to refill the hole. Daphne should be planted a bit high, and make sure the soil can drain well. Be sure to leave plenty of room around the plant so it can take its natural shape; it doesn’t take to pruning, typically failing to bloom the first year on new growth.
I have included two pictures of our Daphne, so you can see the effect of pruning we felt was needed—half the plant with blooms, half without where we did the pruning.