The Q&A Archives: Daphne Not Growing

Question: Hello,

A year ago, I bought a Variegated Daphne and decided it would make a great pot plant. The plant is on a very big barrell. I carefully followed the planting directions and it is not growing. The plant is not dead because I scraped the plant to see if the foilage is green and it was. There are not many leaves. I placed the plant on my patio so it receives evening sun. I love fragrant plants and I would love to see this plant grow. Any uggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Rigo Navarro

Answer: Daphne odora seems to have a mind of its own and inspite of good care will sometimes sit and sulk. If you've planted it properly (not any deeper than it was growing in the nursery pot), and you've been careful not to overwater (keep the soil relatively dry during the spring and summer months), your Daphne is probably just pouting until her roots become established. It isn't unusual for evergreens such as Daphne to lose their older leaves in anticipation of producing new foliage in the spring. I suspect that's what your plant is doing. In fact, I have a Daphne outside my window right now and she has big fat flower buds and a few leaves on the tips of the branches, but otherwise the stems are bare. I know she'll produce new foliage in early summer so I'm not overly concerned. Daphne prefers soil that's neutral to slightly alkaline, and will appreciate a light feeding right after flowering. Just be patient with your Daphne and once she's become established she should grow beautifully for you.

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