HAVE trouble with daphnes. They look lovely and green in bud at
the garden centres, but each time when I take one home they eventually
go yellow and die. I've tried planting them in different areas,
but still no luck.
are one of the most beautifully scented winter and spring-flowering
shrubs, but unfortunately some people do find them difficult to
They need well-drained
soil and usually perform best in a cool, semi-shaded spot where
the soil remains moist, even in summer. The other essential is that
the soil must be slightly acidic. Yellowing of daphne leaves could
be the result of root damage through poor drainage or drought but
could also be iron deficiency brought on by lime in the soil. Don't
plant them in soil that has had lime added or near a relatively
new concrete drive or path, as lime from concrete can adversely
You can alleviate iron-deficiency
symptoms by feeding with specific fertilisers for acid-loving plants
or iron chelate, which is available in garden centres.
Or you could try growing
one in a pot in a shady spot. Choose quite a large pot so there's
plenty of mix to retain moisture in summer - and don't forget to
water it regularly. Use a potting mix formulated for acid-loving
Gardener, Issue 157, 2004, Page 30
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.