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Published: Thursday, December 24, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

Plant pick: Variegated winter daphne

  • Winter daphne

    Al Dodson/Great Plant Picks

    Winter daphne

WHAT: Variegated winter daphne, also known as daphne odora aureomarginata, is a fragrant evergreen shrub that releases a sweet scent into the air in March and April.
WHY PLANT IT: Although many daphnes are tricky to grow, this one is adaptable and easy to please. It features long, narrow leaves edged in creamy gold. Its flowers are small and waxy looking, and they emerge from attractive purple buds.
WHERE: It prefers fertile, rich, well-drained soil in part shade, either filtered sun or morning sun.
It does well under the shade of a small deciduous tree, such as a Japanese maple, where it provides interest through the winter and gets protection from hot summer sun.
Its foliage will burn in hot afternoon sun. It is drought tolerant once established.
HOW: Mulch it in March and add a handful of all-purpose organic fertilizer to keep the foliage a rich green.
A light summer pruning will encourage it to grow more densely.
Plant it with other winter-interest plants such as camellia, cyclamen coum and crocus tommasinianus.
ACTUAL SIZE: This low-growing evergreen shrub that can reach about 4 feet high and 6 feet across and grows fairly fast in the right conditions. More often, however, it is about two-thirds that size.
Source: Great Plant Picks
Story tags » Gardening


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