Daphne QA


Article by David Marks
Our main Daphne article can be found here. But sometimes our readers ask specific questions which are not covered in the main article. This page lists their comments, questions and answers.


Date: 3 July 2019 From: Ali

QUESTION: I have a new Daphne the top has been taken out to encourage side growth but they are 6 inches and drooping. Should I pinch the ends out to encourage bushy growth?

ANSWER: Daphne don’t respond well to pruning because it encourages new growth which is weak. This is probably why your plant is now drooping.

I would leave it alone now and hopefully it will recover. Make sure the roots are kept moist (but not drenched) in the warm weather of July and August. Do not feed them with a nitrogen rich fertileser, this will only make the problem worse.

Date: 29 October 2018 From: John H

QUESTION: Do l have to cover daphne in winter?

ANSWER: Absolutely not, Daphne are reasonably hardy plants in the UK. Covering the plants in winter runs the risk of trapping in moisture and encouraging fungal diseases. If your daphne is in a container and you are in a very cold part of the UK you may want to move the container so that it near a house wall and out of the way of strong winds.

Date: 14 April 2018 From: Ali

QUESTION: Do Daphne mind chalky soil?

ANSWER: In general Daphne prefers a neutral soil. However, as I mention in the comment below, Daphne mezereum will do fine in a chalky (alkaline) soil.

Date: 22 March 2018 From: Rachel

QUESTION: My soil is alkaline and relatively nitrogen rich. The garden is aligned north / south and goes from full sun to deep shade – which Daphne would best survive?

ANSWER: I would go for Daphne mezereum. It will grow well in alkaline soil and is fine in partial shade. Make sure you go for a reputable supplier. I wouldn’t advise Parkers, gofor a company like Burncoose Nurseries or Jacksons.

Date: 18 February 2018 From: Micaela

COMMENT: I’ve just checked on my Daphne which has been in a pot for about a year. It was not hriving, As i tipped it out to plant in the ground I found hundreds of vine weevil eggs all around the roots. Poor thing no wonder it looked sorry for itself. It had hardly any root system left. Am going to try to plant it in the ground…but not very confident of prognosis.

Date: 12 February 2018 From: Noreen

QUESTION: I bought a Daphne bholua. Can I plant it in a large tub, if so what soil, what depth of container or should I plant it in the ground?

ANSWER: Most Daphne, including Daphne bholua, are not really suitable for growing in containers. They have deep roots which are best kept cool. This would be difficult to achieve in a container.

Date: 02 January 2018 From: Fay

Something appears to be eating the leaves of my Daphne bholua – small holes and brown patches and lots of fragments on the ground. What is the problem?

ANSWER: That’s a bit unusual and unfortunately I haven’t heard of it before so can’t really helpspecifically.
I haven’t heard of any pests eating the leaves other than occasionally vine weevil but they eat the edges and don’t really leave holes.
My uninformed guess would be some form of leaf spot caused by too much water at the roots. Shothole could well be a possibility and that would match up with your description of fragments on the ground.
Daphne don’t take kindly to being moved so the only remedy, once planted, is to improve the surrounding soil. Add lots of well rotted compost into the surrounding soil to hopefully improve the drainage.

Date: 06 March 2016 From: Phil
During the year what is it best to feed the Daphne with?

ANSWER: Daphne grow a quite extensive root system and most of it is capable of absorbing nutrients from the ground. Unless they are planted in soil which is unusually low in nutrients they can look after themselves. But you never know, so I always spread a handful of blood fish and bone fertiliser around the plants in April and September. It reduces the possibility of nutrient deficiency without encouraging them to produce tender green growth which can be damaged by frosts.
In reality, they are quite capable of extracting nutrients of their own accord.