How to Grow Daphne Cneorum - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Daphne cneorum is a dense, rounded, evergreen shrub that typically matures to 3-4’ tall and as wide. It is noted for its erect, terminal clusters (corymbs) of fragrant, pink flowers that appear in late spring. Each flower has 4 petals fused at the base and 4 stamens. The flowers are followed by black berries. Glossy, dark green leaves (to 1.5” long) are oblong to oval and emit a lemon fragrance when crushed.

How to Grow Daphne Cneorum - Plant Care & Tips

Alternative name

  • Daphne cneorum
  • Daphne cneorum Rehder
  • Daphne cneorum Sieb
  • Daphne cneorum f. alba
  • Daphne cneorum f. rubra

Basic info

  • Daphne cneorum is a low-growing, evergreen shrub native to the mountainous regions of central and southern Europe.
  • It typically grows to only 30 cm (12 in) in height, with a spread of up to 1 m (3 ft).
  • The leaves are small, ovate, and glossy green, with a faint silver-greyunderside.
  • The flowers are white, borne in clusters of up to 30 blooms.
  • Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer.
  • The fruit is a small, oval drupe, which ripens to a reddish-purple hue.
  • Daphne cneorum is suitable for cultivation in USDA hardiness zones 5 to
  • It prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil.
  • Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant.
  • It can be propagated by softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer.

Related plant:
Daphne Sericea

How to Grow

  1. For daphne cneorum, first step is to plant the shrub in well-drained, acidic soil in full sun to partial shade.
  2. Amend the planting area with peat moss or other organic matter to improve drainage.
  3. Set the plant at the same depth it was growing in the pot.
  4. Water the shrub deeply and regularly during the first growing season to help it establish a strong root system.
  5. Fertilize regularly with an acidic fertilizer.
  6. Prune as needed to shape the plant and remove any damaged or diseased branches.
  7. Be sure to protect the plant from winter winds and harsh weather.
  8. Mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and keep the roots cool.
  9. The plant may produce berries which can be poisonous if ingested.
  10. Enjoy your daphne cneorum for many years to come!

Related plant:
Daphne Transatlantica

Considering the Soil

About soil condition, daphne cneorum prefers well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It tolerates a wide range of soils, including clay, sand, and loam, as long as the soil is not waterlogged. This plant is not particularly fussy about soil pH, although it prefers slightly acidic to neutral conditions. It is also quite tolerant of drought once established.

Light requirement

Not too different with other plants, Daphne cneorum needs sunlight to grow. However, this plant is special in that it can grow in both full sun and partial shade. This makes it a great choice for gardeners who want to add a touch of beauty to their yard but don't have the perfect conditions for gardening.

The Temperature

The temperature condition for Daphne cneorum is cool to cold. It can tolerate some sun, but does best in partial shade. This plant is not drought tolerant and will require regular watering, especially during the summer months.

Humidity Aspect

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is around 50%. If the humidity drops too low, the leaves will begin to curl and the plant will eventually die. If the humidity is too high, the plant will become susceptible to fungal diseases.

The Fertilizer

Regarding fertilizer, this type of plant does not need a lot of nutrients and actually does poorly with too much nitrogen. A light feeding in early spring is all that is required. Be sure to use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. As for the roots, they are quite shallow and spread out, so be careful not to damage them when working in the area.

Light requirement

Pruning is an important part of keeping your daphne cneorum healthy and happy. When pruning, be sure to remove any dead or dying branches. You can also prune to encourage new growth, or to shape the plant. Be careful not to over prune, as this can damage the plant.

About Propagating

Propagation for daphne cneorum is typically achieved through stem cuttings taken from new growth in late spring or early summer. The cuttings should be around 4-6 inches in length and taken from the tips of the stems. Cuttings can be placed directly into pots filled with a well-draining soil mix, or they can be rooted in water first and then transferred to soil. Once in soil, keep the cuttings moist but not wet and in a location that receives indirect light. It can take several weeks for the cuttings to develop roots. Once roots have developed, the plants can be transplanted into individual pots or into the garden.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is fast during the spring and summer months, with some growth continuing into the fall. The average plant size is about 2 to 4 feet tall and wide, with some plants reaching up to 6 feet tall.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are Aphids, Scale, and Mealybugs. These pests can be controlled with a strong stream of water from the hose, insecticidal soap, or neem oil. If you see any of these pests on your plant, be sure to act quickly and remove them before they cause too much damage.

Tips on Growing

  • If you are growing daphne cneorum from seed, sow the seed in late winter or early spring.
  • Start the seedlings off in a cold frame or unheated propagator.
  • Plant daphne cneorum in a sunny spot in well-drained soil.
  • When planting, take care not to damage the roots.
  • Water daphne cneorum regularly during the growing season.
  • Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks during the growing season.
  • In late summer or early autumn, cut back any straggly or damaged growth.
  • Protect daphne cneorum from cold winds in winter by covering the plant with a fleece or burlap.
  • Propagate daphne cneorum by taking semi-ripe cuttings in late summer or early autumn.
  • Take care when handling daph

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Field Guide to Shrubs - Brandeis
Daphne cneorum information from the Global Compendium of …
Daphne odora - North Carolina State University

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Shrubs Category