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Daphne in pots

AdRockAdRock Posts: 241
Hi, I’ve been given 2 lovely Daphne Mezereum Rubra which I’ve heard mixed things about and how fickle they can be. Originally I wanted to plant in the ground but we’ve got a layer of clay about 50cm down and was warned that even a good amount of grit and vermiculite might not do the job.

Firstly, would they be happy kept
in pots? I’m going to repot with garden compost, vermiculite and leaf mould mix.

Then I thought I’d really like them in the ground mixed in with some small tulips like little princess, so maybe keep the Daphne in pots but bury in the ground with a soak away underneath to give the appearance they are planted?

I guess the main thing I’m worried about is drainage, the site I’ve chosen is dappled shade. I would be keen to hear any tips thank you!


  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,194
    I don't think they will be happy in pots as they need to be in the ground.
    Our soil is very clay and when we did have a Daphne mezereum it only lasted a few years and then gave up.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    The best way to do it is mound planting. You dig in muck and grit in the usual way, not vermiculite, and you can add topsoil. Build it up well above the surrounding soil and allow it to settle to about 5 -6 inches and plant into that. Yes, you do have to scrape the soil back into place after heavy rain or bird activity until the plant is established and you have to mulch at least twice a year, but it will give your daphne a much better chance. Oh! I should have added a diameter of around 2ft for a baby  or bigger for something larger.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,051
    I have the much smaller D x translantica eternal fragrance in a pot, but I will probably have to replace it this year as the pot is too small for long-term living and I understand they hate being moved. I think the mezerum would be tricky. You would need a really big, deep planter. 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,408
    D. mezerum can grow to a decent size quite quickly for a daphne. They prefer slightly alkaline soil, though I didn't know this when I planted mine on the edge of our limestone chipping drive. With plenty of sun and good drainage it got to well over a metre both height and spread and gave me lots of cheery, purple flowers every spring that smelt lovely too. I can't imagine it doing well in a pot.
    Sadly I need to replace it now as it succumbed last year to a combination of drought and old age. Their lifespan is only about 15 years I believe and mine had already done better than the one which preceded it.
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