The winter flowering daphne is Daphne odora, a fragrant low growing plant and the most popular of all Daphnes. Both pink and white flowering varieties are available, and this is regarded as the best winter flowering shrub of all. They grow well in the garden and can also be grown in pots.
Reaching around 1m in height, the flowers are pretty, but small, however what they lack in size they make up for in fragrance. Dark green foliage is a feature through the year some varieties have a cream leaf. Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata, has more of a variegated look and is regarded as hardier than Daphne Odora itself.
Sometimes regarded as tricky to grow, these are actually a very hardy and easy care plant in the right conditions. They need shade, a humus rich soil and they do resent root disturbance.
Growing and Care for Daphne Odora
Daphne Odora species and cultivars all require a cool shaded position with protection from hot afternoon sun a must. A humus rich well drained, but moist soil will provide Daphne Odora with a cool root run which is essential. They also do not like frosts, so choose a position accordingly.
They need little in the way of pruning, they are slow growing, and only require any damaged stems removed, or light shaping if required. If you regularly pick a few sprigs for indoors, you will find that this alone keeps the plant bushy and in shape.
They are a plant that do not like to be overwatered or under watered, and we find fertilising with a liquid seaweed solution and topdressing with well rotted compost and cow manure seems to be all of the fertiliser that they need.
- Yellowing leaves – This is generally an indication of overwatering.
- Drooping foliage – Also caused by overwatering.
- Leaves curled – This can be caused by aphids and other insects.
- Sudden death – Often caused by humidity and therefore fungal problems.
Growing Daphne Odora (and other daphne species) in Pots or Containers
Daphne Odora can be grown in pots or containers if you provide the right conditions. The pots need to be well drained, the potting mix you use needs to be kept moist and the pots themselves need to be kept cool, no full sun on the pots, so a shaded position near a doorway might be ideal.
Remember if repotting, that they do not like to have their roots disturbed, so be gentle and water in well with some seaweed fertiliser after repotting. As they are slow growers you should not have to do this very often.
Daphne odora varieties
- D. odora – the widely grown pink flowering form
- D. odora ‘alba’ – a very popular white flowering form, lemon scented perfume, pictured below..
- D. odora ‘Marginata’ – pink flowers and yellow margined foliage.
- D. odora ‘Aureo-marginata – pink flowers narrow yellow margined foliage.
- D. odora Rebecca has wider margins and is an attractive addition, although not in Australia as yet.
- D odora ‘Rubra Variegata’. – deeper pink flowers and stronger margins.
- D odora ‘Sakiwaka’ is another form not easily found. Pure white flowers from a Japanese cultivar.
- D odora ‘Star White’ – pure white flowers, claimed to be naturally bushier and hardier than Daphne odora ‘alba’
You may also be interested in these Daphne varieties
- D plants for sale
- D. cneorum
- D. eternal fragrance
- D.perfume princess
- D. pontica
- Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’
- D genkwa
- D tangutica
Looking for Daphne Plants ?
Daphne Plants in the USA
Daphne Plants in the UK