Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Landscape - Plants with Interesting Winter Features VI

The following is a continuation the series on plants with interesting winter features for Delaware landscapes. This post is on Daphne.

Daphne ×transatlantica (formerly Daphne caucasica) is a wonderfully scented small shrub, growing to about 4’ by 4’. Fragrant white May or June flowers cover the attractive somewhat grey green leaves which generally remain throughout the year. Flowers continue until frost and may sporadically appear during any warm days of winter. It grows best in partial shade with excellent drainage. Hardy in zones 5-9.

Daphne odora, winter daphne, is always found on lists of plants that provide winter interest. Winter daphne is a dense, mounded shrub that gets about 4 feet high and wide in most landscapes. Winter daphne blooms from February to March with clusters of light pink flowers that have a lemon scent. It is common knowledge that daphne is temperamental in the garden. I have read several sources that discuss overnight death of otherwise healthy plants. References stress finding a good site, planting properly, and leaving it there. Transplanting is a sure way to kill winter daphne. They prefer moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 6 to 7 in a site with light shade. Make sure to prepare a wide planting hole, do not plant too deep, and mulch well to hold moisture but keep mulch away from the plant's stems. Even if you don't have success the first time, winter daphne is worth several tries.

No comments: