Carol Mackie daphne

(Question)
Daphne

Daphne

I live in New Lowell Ontario
I have a beautiful mature daphne in front of my living room window but I think it is too big for that spot. It has morning sun and afternoon house shade. I would like to relocate it but am afraid it won’t do well. Would it be better to prune it way back? When should I do this? The photo shows what it looks like today.
Thank you!
31 March 2013

(Answer)

Hello,

Your daphne seems to be very happy where it is, which is quite an accomplishment as these plants have a reputation for being a bit finicky (sometimes undeservedly so — in the right conditions, they can be quite undemanding and rewarding to grow). One thing that they absolutely do not like is being moved, so I would advise you to try pruning your handsome shrub instead of transplanting it.

Daphnes should be pruned after flowering, but before about mid-July. Although daphnes can be pruned, they don’t often recover from a hard pruning. If you must prune, lightly shear the tips of the stems. Some experts report that daphnes are susceptible to fungal disease, so take care to clean your pruners and keep the blades sharp to reduce the chances of your shrub succumbing to a disease. Bear in mind that pruning of any kind on any shrub or tree actually promotes new growth, so your daphne will always need to be pruned to keep it within bounds. Instead of pruning it annually, you may want to let it spill gracefully over the edges of your garden bed rather than worry about controlling its size.

Here’s some information on how to go about caring for and pruning your daphne:

https://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/daphne-x-burkwoodii-carol-mackie.aspx

https://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/675.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/garden/03qna.html?_r=0