Daphne Odora is one of the most fragrant plants that you can plant in your garden and also one of the earliest to bloom in the spring. These characteristics make it well worth including in your garden.
Native to China and Japan, Daphne Odora is also known as Japan daphne or winter daphne because it blooms so early, from February to April. Its small pink and white flowers pack a big punch with their sweet, strong fragrance, which is its most notable quality. Bringing a few sprigs into the house will perfume a whole room. The flowers are an early source of nectar for bees. The flowers are followed by bright red berries during the summer months, which provide a nice contrast to the dark green, glossy, leathery evergreen leaves. Daphne odora provides consistent foliage throughout the winter.
Daphne odora is winter hardy in most parts of the UK, but needs a sheltered location facing south or west in full sun or dappled shade. It will slowly grow over a period of 10 to 20 years to a height and spread of 1-1.5 metres. Little or no pruning is required, but if you do prune, do so soon after the flowers are finished.
Choose your planting location carefully, for Daphne odora does not like to be moved! Once you have found a spot that will provide the shelter that winter daphne needs, make sure that the soil is well-drained, although it is not fussy as to type. You should, however, avoid heavy clay, as the soil should not be water-logged over the winter. It will do best with a soil ph that is alkaline or neutral. It benefits from a layer of mulch over the roots, as long as it is kept away from the stems.
This is a plant that you are going to want to place where you can experience its fragrance close at hand. Plant Daphne odora alongside a walkway, or by a door where you will pass it daily. It also makes a lovely addition to a woodland garden, or can be planted as a hedge. In a sheltered flower border it will provide dependable all-year foliage as a backdrop for later-blooming flowers.
The lovely fragrance of Daphne odora should guarantee it a place in any garden, large or small. Its early blooming, beautiful scent and evergreen foliage makes it a great choice.