© RHS/Mark Winwood



Daphnes are popular for their intensely fragrant blooms, usually produced in winter or spring. Many of these shrubs are compact, slow growing and low maintenance, so are ideal for even the smallest gardens. Plant them near paths and doorways or at the front of borders, where it's easy to enjoy their rich fragrance. 


These small or medium-sized shrubs produce clusters of richly fragrant pink, white or yellow flowers. They bloom at different times of year, mainly within the period of late winter to summer. Most are evergreen, although some may lose their leaves in winter.


Most daphnes are happy in partial shade, in neutral or slightly alkaline soil. They like moist, free-draining conditions. Typically hardy, they still love a warm, sheltered location.


They dislike soggy or dry soil. Most are deep rooted, so aren't suitable for planting long-term in containers and prefer not to be moved once settled into the ground. Avoid pruning, as this can cause die-back.

Did you know?

The nectar-rich flowers attract bees and other pollinating insects. Daphnes that bloom in late winter and early spring are a particularly valuable source, when little else is in flower.

Growing guide

Daphne we recommend

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Useful advice

Containers: winter selection

Containers: winter selection

Plants for winter interest

Plants for winter interest

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

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