How to Plant February Daphne


Native to Europe and Siberia, February Daphne (Daphne mezereum) is an early-blooming shrub with fragrant white or purplish-pink blossoms that emerge in mid- to late winter, before it leafs out. The February Daphne grows 3 to 5 feet tall and wide and often enters a dormant state during the summer. This woody, "leggy" perennial shrub grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8, where winter temperatures don't drop below minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but some varieties can grow in climates where minimum annual temperatures are as cold as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Select a location in full to partial sunlight to plant your February Daphne, where the shrub will receive some shade during the mid- to late afternoon. Choose a planting site that has well-draining, but moist, soil.

Step 2

Dig a planting hole that is twice the width of and the same depth as the nursery container. If you're planting several shrubs, allow at least 3 to 5 feet of space between the plants for the February Daphne to spread.

Step 3

Mix into the displaced dirt some organic compost or well-rotted, aged manure to enrich the soil. Make the soil mixture half native soil and half compost or manure.

Step 4

Remove the February Daphne's roots from the nursery container and set them into the planting hole. Gently loosen the roots if they're compacted.

Step 5

Fill the planting hole about halfway with the amended soil. Water the soil in the planting hole lightly to remove any air pockets around the roots.

Step 6

Fill the planting hole the rest of the way, planting the February Daphne at the same depth as it was in the nursery container. Water the soil to soak it thoroughly around the roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Select your planting site carefully because the February Daphne doesn't like to be transplanted or have its roots disturbed. The red berries that the shrub produces are poisonous, so you should be careful of where you place the plant if you have pets or children nearby.

Things You'll Need

  • February Daphne shrub
  • Shovel
  • Organic compost or rotted manure
  • Garden hose


  • Red Butte Garden: February Daphne
  • Mount Holyoke College Botanical Garden: Daphne mezereum var. album -- February Daphne

Who Can Help

  • Sunset Plant Finder: Daphne mezereum -- February Daphne
Keywords: plant February Daphne, grow Daphne mezereum, February Daphne planting tips

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.