Daphne odora is the botanical name for winter Daphne, a species of flowering evergreen shrub cultivated for its small, fragrant flower clusters. The species possesses a compact, mounding growth habit, so it requires very little pruning to control its size or alter its natural shape, although light pruning during the blooming season is recommended to increase flower production and to improve the bushiness and overall look of the plant. Care must be taken to only prune off new growth since the shrubs produce flowers on 1- to 2-year-old wood and will cease blooming if the older wood is damaged or removed.
Clean the blades of your pruning shears with warm, soapy water before using them to prune the Daphne odora. Dip the blades in hydrogen peroxide after washing them to remove any traces of potentially harmful fungi or bacteria. Make sure the blades are dry before using them.
Water the Daphne odora shrub deeply the night before pruning it. Run water into the soil near the base of the shrub for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the soil is moist at a depth of 5 inches.
Examine the branches before pruning the Daphne odora. Note where the flexible, green wood ends and the hardened mature wood begins. Do not prune past the green wood since it will hamper the shrub's ability to flower the following year.
Remove no more than 2 inches from the tip of each flowering branch. Make a straight cut just above a set of leaves using the clean, dry pruning shears. Avoid angling the cut since too much of the inner flesh will be exposed and the wound will take longer to heal.
Snip off dry, damaged or scraggly-looking branches at their point of origin using the pruning shears. Cut off as much of the damaged branch as possible. Discard the damaged branch into a green waste bin.