About ten years ago, when I redesigned my front yard, I planted a winter daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’) in front of the seating area under my now-departed crabapple tree.
I planted it because I had a shady front yard, a high-profile location I wanted to fill with a specimen plant, and most of all because I loved the way this plant smells when it’s in bloom, usually in late March or early April. Heavenly.
What I didn’t know at the time was that very few daphnes grow to maturity looking like the one in the link here. Many, if not all, of the ones I’ve planted or encountered, develop a strange tendency to start growing horizontally. Mine is so “sideways” now that much of its “trunk” lies on the ground, and most of the foliage branches are propped up on the flagstone landing in front of the bed. Recently, a deer (I think) stepped on it in the center, breaking off a big chunk of the shrub.
I winced and cut off the broken branch, then tried an experiment to see if I could “force” cuttings from the broken piece to bloom inside. No luck, as you can see.
Over the years, as my daphne has gotten older, harsh winters have made me think it’s about to give up the ghost.
But to my surprise, when bloom time comes, in late winter, it perks up and lets forth with its gorgeous scent, determined to give me another season of bloom.
Now that my front yard is sunnier, I don’t know if the daphne will survive the sun’s onslaught.
Check with me this time next year. I would hate to have to move it, but if it proves necessary, I’ll try transplanting it, broken branch and all. After all, it’s surprised me before with its determination to survive. Perhaps it will do so again. Fingers crossed.