Daphne, a winter flower

A fragrance of jasmine and spices, an abundant blooming from January to the end of March… In winter, at a time where flowers are dire, daphne comes to enchant the garden.

The daphne is the plant kingdom’s gift to us with its most extraordinary fragrance.

Exotic, powerful, very flowery with hints of carnation, jasmine and hyacinth with a dash of clove spice, it can tickle your nose from yards away!

Apart from its fragrance, daphne also drapes itself in a ravishing blooming, an abundance which is quite rare at this time of the year.

Its gradient-like flowers with hues of white, pink and purple unfurl in uncountable numbers for many long weeks. They are followed by a profusion of little brightly colored berries.

Daphne, a welcoming scent

The best place for this shrub is clearly the front door of the house. Plant three specimens around your main door, or any other passageway so that you won’t miss its enchanting scents. Pair it with heath, early-blooming bulbs (winter aconite, narcissus and botanical crocus). When planted in conjunction with sparse ground cover plants, they’ll be protected against drought.

Keys to succeeding with daphne

A daphne shrub loaded with pink flowers.Purchase your daphne when it is blooming to be sure to buy the specimen that releases the most scent. Generally speaking, plants with darker flowers release a stronger scent than plants with light-colored flowers. Wait for the end of the blooming to settle it in the garden.

Daphne fears standing moisture, heavy, compact soil that suffocates roots, excessively strong heat and violent sun. It loves having its roots kept cool in summer. Mulching will help do this, as will the fact of watering often whenever the temperature hits 75°F (25°C) or more. A slow grower, it is well suited to small gardens. Apart from the occasional removal of dead and broken sprigs, it doesn’t require any pruning. Pruning too severely can even lead to the entire branch dying off, perhaps even the whole plant.

Be careful!

All types of daphne are poisonous if ingested, so only grow them in gardens that aren’t visited by young children. If the sap touches the skin, it may trigger allergic reactions. Wear gloves when handling daphne.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Daphne bloom by JenƑ Szabó under Pixabay license
Daphne bush by Hans Braxmeier under Pixabay license