The Q&A Archives: Pruning Carol Mackie Daphne

Question: I have a Carol Mackie Daphne that is about 3.5 ft high and 4 ft wide (approx. 10 years old). Last year in an ice storm a number of braches were damaged. I lost a quarter section of the plant. Can I prune the plant back to try and promote a more rounded growth? Is there anything I can do to try and save the plant? This is my favorite plant.

Answer: It's best to prune your daphne after it has flowered. You can prune up to about one-third of the growth without permanently damaging your plant. Begin by removing any dead and damaged branches, then prune back the healthy parts by no more than a third. If you need to prune more off to make it more symmetrical, you may want to rehabilitate the plant over a 2-3 year period. It may look tacky for another season or two, but with careful pruning you can get it back to its original shape and retain its health all at the same time.

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