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How to Plant Daphne Odora

By Sharon Sweeny ; Updated September 21, 2017

Daphne odora is a small evergreen shrub with tiny pink flowers that blooms in late winter or early spring. The flowers are extremely fragrant and one or two in a vase will scent an entire room. Daphne odora is hardy to USDA Zone 7 and warmer. It does not grow well as a potted plant. The shrub slowly grows to 3 to 6 feet high and is an excellent foundation planting near a door to enjoy its fragrant flowers as you pass by.

Plant daphne odora in a partially shaded spot, in a border of evergreens or in a woodland garden. The soil should be rich and well-drained; avoid heavy clay or areas that stay wet during winter.

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the root ball or at least 18 inches wide, whichever is larger. Mix the soil you removed with a 5-gallon bucket of peat moss and half of a 5-gallon bucket of compost.

Put some of the improved soil back into the planting hole and set the plant on the mound of improved soil. Back fill with improved soil, firming it around the roots with your hands. Firm the surface of the soil with your foot.

Use your hands to make a bank of soil around the outside of the planting hole. It will catch rainwater and help send it down to the roots.

Water newly planted daphne odora thoroughly. Put a hose set to a slow trickle near the base of the plant. Allow it to slowly seep into the soil for 60 to 90 minutes. Thereafter, provide daphne odora with the equivalent of an inch of rainfall per week. Do not allow the soil to dry out.

Mulch the planting hole with a 4- to 6-inch layer of wood chips or shredded bark.

Fertilize the daphne odora each year in early spring. Pull back the mulch and apply granulated fertilizer specially formulated for evergreens. Use the application rates recommended by the manufacturer and sprinkle the granules around the base of the bush. Scratch it into the soil with your garden claw, then replace the mulch.

Prune daphne odora by cutting the flowers as they appear for use in indoor bouquets or by deadheading when the flowers fade. The bush will not need any other pruning as it is very slow growing.


Things You Will Need

  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Granulated fertilizer formulated for evergreens
  • Mulch


  • Daphne odora does not like to be transplanted; choose a site for your plant and once planted, do not move it.

About the Author


Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.