Daphne pruning advice

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by JWK, Jul 31, 2022.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    My Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' is 11 years old and starting to encroach on the garden steps. I've read they dislike being pruned. Can I prune, if so when is best and anything else I should know?

    20220731_163438.jpg
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Looking up the steps:
    20220731_163425.jpg
     
  3. Michael Hewett

    Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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    I believe they should be pruned immediately after flowering. I forgot to do mine so it will have to remain a shapeless shrub until next year now, otherwise I will loose the flowering branches.
     
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    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      Hooooo risky! I'd just cut back the lower bit that's sticking out, to free up the steps, but personally, I wouldn't give it a 'haircut' all over.
       
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      • Michael Hewett

        Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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        What is the reason for this please ? I have one which is very lanky and want to get it into a nice shape ...
         
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        • noisette47

          noisette47 Total Gardener

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          Just going on past experience, Michael. I love Daphnes, but they're the most temperamental plants I've ever grown, especially D. o 'A'. They've never needed much of an excuse to peg out on me, so I wouldn't do anything to upset one :biggrin: Perhaps in a different soil or climate pruning is not a problem :dunno: Certainly if it's old and leggy it's nearing the end of it's life anyway, so there's nothing to lose and it might rejuvenate it.
           
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          • Michael Hewett

            Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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            Thank you @noisette47 Mine is new bought 2 years ago but leggy and I've planted it in a pot. I may cut some of the branches and use them as cuttings.

            Sorry to hijack your thread @JWK
             
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            • JWK

              JWK Gardener Staff Member

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              It's good to find out these things. I'm weighing up my options I don't want to lose the Daphne but also don't want someone to trip over down the steps. I will have to do something and don't mind not getting flowers on the part I prune. It needs to come back about 18" but I may try a bit less in the spring after flowering. I think I may try just a couple of the branches. I have another Daphne starting to get big and may try a gentle trim next spring too, again only on a small part of the plant.

              I've often wondered about taking small flowering cuttings for the vase, has anyone tried that?
               
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              • Loofah

                Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                You can lightly trim them and they're tougher than some would have you believe. My builders did their damnedest to knock an old one over and kill it but it's still going, albeit more horizontal. I trim it as needed and also took some cuttings which rooted and I've planted out.
                They're deep rooted too so good for drier weather!
                 
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                  Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                  That's good to hear @Loofah thanks.

                  I thought daphne were grafted which is why they are so expensive to buy. Be interesting to try rooting my cuttings in the spring as backup, they are rather slow growing though.
                   
                • CanadianLori

                  CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                  May sound silly but if you're worrying about cutting the perhaps figuring a way to bend and tie back the branch? Sorta train it to skirt the plant?
                   
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                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                    That's a good idea Lori, I'll see how flexible the branches are, maybe bend them back bit by bit :blue thumb:
                     
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                    • noisette47

                      noisette47 Total Gardener

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                      What species/ variety, @Loofah?
                       
                    • Loofah

                      Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                      I have absolutely no idea!
                       
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                      • Sheal

                        Sheal Total Gardener

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                        What about a support hoop John?

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