Daphne Odora Plant Care
Daphne Odora Plants How To Grow Healthy Daphne’s
Daphne Odora or winter Daphne is native to China. It is a popular winter garden plant known for their highly fragrant, star shaped waxy white and pink flowers clusters. Fragrant daphne’s can be challenging shrubs to grow and do need the right growing conditions. They grow well in the cooler regions of Southern Australia. The daphne flowers when the fruit trees are in full blossom in late winter. The plant has leathery green leaves and grows to a height of one metre round. The bright red berries of the plant are poisonous and some people are sensitive to the plant sap. As the berries taste bitter, they are not grazed by the wildlife birds or animals. The plant grows well either in the ground or in large containers, if the soil that they grow in is acidic and they are well cared for.
Care of Daphne Shrubs
When planting in the ground, make sure that the plant is having a sheltered location. The plant likes morning sun but needs protection from the intense afternoon sun. They require soil with perfect drainage and they cannot withstand over watering or under watering. If the leaves of the plants turn to light green, it is an indication that the plant needs fertiliser. Once the plant finishes flowering feed it with a fertiliser containing iron. During the growing season, you can use foliar fertiliser once in two weeks. Water the plants after checking the moisture of the soil. Be careful, over watering can cause root rot. Mulching helps to keep the roots cool. Always place the mulch away from the stem to avoid rotting.
When and How To Prune Daphne Plants?
Pruning of the daphne plant should be done with care. Deep cuts while pruning can affect the growth of the plant. It is necessary to prune the plant lightly when needed, keeping the shrub open and airy. Long dying old wood branches have to be removed at the nodes before they cause damage to the main stem. Trim the plant in spring when blooming ceases. You need to use sharp pruning shears which are disinfected. Pruning should be done on dry and mild climate days. Excessive pruning may cause reduced blooming the following year.
Propagation Using Cuttings
The most reliable way to propagate Daphne Odora plant is by layering or to use semi-ripe stem cuttings taken in early or mid summer. It is necessary to plant the stem cuttings in partially shaded areas with moist and well drained soil. Select the stem cutting from this year’s growth. Dipping the bottom of the stem cutting in rooting hormone speeds up root development. Keep the cuttings protected from strong winds till the plant develops roots. Rooting is done faster when planted in a perlite based mix. Once the stem cuttings develops healthy roots you can replant them to the shady areas in the garden ground, where they will be protected from frosts. Be patient because daphnes can be hard to propagate.
Growing Daphne In Pots
Plant and replant daphne’s with the utmost care. Select plants with healthy roots to plant in pots. Do not damage, disturb or tease the roots while planting. To plant a Daphne Odora in a pot you need to select a large deep container, which provides enough space for root growth. Daphne plants do not respond well to re-potting. You need to fill the container with a good quality potting mix or well drained soil with added homemade compost fertiliser. It is a good idea to add in water crystals, they will help store water and release the water when the daphne plant needs it. This is a good way to help stop root rot as over watering and soggy poor drained soil may be the death of the plant. Place the containers away from direct sunlight until the plant gets established. During early spring you can apply foliar fertiliser, iron chelates will do wonders for the plant and prevent yellow leaves caused by magnesium deficiency. You can also prune the potted plants lightly in spring after flowering stops, this will also help to thicken the bush up.