The Q&A Archives: Planting Carol Mackie Daphne

Question: I just purchased a carol mackie daphne. Is it true that carol mackie daphnes don't like to be moved? There is lilac growing in the spot where I ultimately want to put the daphne but it's the wrong time of year to transplant the lilac. That means I need to plant the carol mackie daphne temporarily in another spot. (I've already lost one when I transplanted it but that was a mature plant.) What can I do to give my new carol mackie its best start in life?

Answer: You're right - daphnes do not like to have their roots disturbed and will sometimes sulk for an entire year after being transplanted. If you can't put your Carol Mackie in its permanent place right now, you can sink the nursery pot into the ground and leave it there until you can plant your daphne. Simply dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the nursery pot (to loosen the soil all around) then pop the pot into the ground and fill in around the pot with soil. Be sure to bring the soil up just slightly higher than the rim of the pot so the potting soil doesn't get overly dry. It should be just fine in the ground all winter long.

Before planting your daphne, amend the soil with organic matter to facilitate good drainage, then unpot, tease the roots a bit to encourage outward growth, and plant at the same soil level the daphne was growing in the nursery pot.

Water deeply once each week until the roots are well established.

Enjoy your new daphne!

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