Sun exposure:
Full sun, partial shade
South facing, west facing


Chalky / Alkaline / Clay / Heavy / Moist / Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Winter daphne (Daphne odora) is a particularly sweetly-scented species with glossy evergreen foliage that provides interest throughout the year. Clusters of pink and white flowers appear in late winter and early spring. Daphne odora is hardy in most parts of the UK but can suffer in colder, exposed areas.

There are several varieties of winter daphne with particularly striking foliage, such as Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ and Daphne odora 'Rogalski’. ‘Aureomarginata’ has green lance-shaped leaves edged with yellow. It is hardier than the plain green form and has received the coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit. Also with variegated foliage, ‘Rogalski' is a more compact daphne with a height and spread of just 80cm by 80cm. Daphne odora f. alba has pure white flowers and reaches 1.5m in height.

All parts of Daphne odora are poisonous if ingested. The plant can also cause skin and eye irritation, so it is important to wear protective clothing and equipment when handling.

How to grow Daphne odora

Winter daphne is ideal for a sunny shrub or mixed border where its evergreen foliage will provide year-round colour and structure, and its fragrant blooms will attract early bees. Daphne odora is suitable for alkaline, neutral and acid soils. It does best in fertile, well-drained conditions.

How to care for Daphne odora

Daphne odora needs little care once it has become established and requires minimal or no pruning. Simply deadhead and remove diseased, damaged and dead material after flowering. Daphne odora can be propagated by taking semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. Avoid transplanting as winter daphne dislikes root disturbance.

Plants can be susceptible to aphid and slug damage. Root rot can also create problems and is often caused by planting in heavy or waterlogged soils.

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Advice on buying Daphne odora

  • Avoid planting winter daphne in gardens accessible to children or pets
  • Ensure your soil has sufficient drainage before buying as Daphne odora will suffer in damp or waterlogged conditions
  • Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before planting

Where to buy winter daphne

Plant calendar

Take cuttingsyesyes

Daphne and wildlife

Daphne is known for attracting bees. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Is known to attract Bees
Is not known to attract Beneficial insects
Beneficial insects
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Butterflies/​Moths
Is not known to attract Other pollinators
Other pollinators

Is Daphne poisonous?

Daphne causes an upset stomach, irritates eyes, irritates skin, is harmful if ingested and toxins are absorbed by the skin. Its bark, foliage, fruit, pollen, roots, sap, seed capsules and seeds are toxic.

Toxic to:
Is known to attract Cats
Is known to attract Dogs
Is known to attract Horses
Is known to attract Livestock
Is known to attract People
No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Plants that go well with Daphne odora