Plant of the Month: Daphne

February 13, 2017

Winter Daphne, sometimes known as the romance plant, blooms in mid-February around Valentine’s Day and usually lasts through early March. They are known for their fragrant flowers and showy, bright blooms. Daphnes are a great addition to shade gardens and can be planted as a specimen plant or in groupings. They also work very well in container gardens.

Purple Daphne and Coleus in Container Garden

Daphnes are susceptible to root rot so it’s important to plant them in well drained soils. They do best in partial shade and should be kept out of intense afternoon sun. If they are planted in too much shade they will not bloom as well. Once established, they are hardy and relatively low maintenance.

Here are a few of our favorite varieties of daphne that are blooming this time of year.

Mae-Jima Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Mae-Jima’)– This broadleaf evergreen daphne has bright green and yellow variegated foliage with pink flowers.

Mae-Jima Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Mae-Jima’)

Variegated Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’)– Also evergreen this daphne features fragrant pink blossoms that open to white against variegated green and creamy white foliage.

Variegated Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’) Photo Courtesy of Great Plant Picks

Marianni Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Marianni’)– The Marianni Winter Daphne is an evergreen shrub with bright green and yellow-edged foliage and fragrant pink flowers.

Marianni Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Marianni’)

Not all Daphne bloom in winter though…

Summer Ice Daphne (Daphne transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’)– While this one does not bloom in February, it’s a note-worthy variety worth mentioning. This semi-evergreen daphne continually blooms April through November with white flowers. It has bright green foliage with cream colored edges. This variety can also handle more sun.

Summer Ice Daphne (Daphne transatlantica ‘Summer Ice’)

Do you have any late winter blooming plants that are catching your eye in your garden? We’d love to hear from you!

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