How to Prune a Daphne Bush

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Daphne shrubs provide year-round beauty to the garden. The variegated foliage is green with white or yellow margins. The pink or white flowers bloom in late winter or early spring, adding color to the landscape when most other plants are still dormant. Daphne shrubs grow to 4 feet tall and nearly as wide. The bushes grow slowly and maintain their mounded shape, but may require some light pruning to hold their best form.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Cut damaged and dead branches once the shrub finishes flowering in spring. Remove these branches where they join the nearest healthy wood, making the cut flush with a healthy branch. If you're trimming a damaged branch tip, make the cut within 1/4 inch of a healthy leaf or leaf bud.

  • Thin out crossed branches that are rubbing together. Prune the crossed branch back to the nearest main stem. Thinning out these branches allows more air circulation through the shrub, which may help prevent diseases.

  • Prune overgrown branches to maintain the height and shape of the daphne bush. Cut no more than a fourth of the branches length, making the cut within 1/4 inch of a leaf or leaf bud. Daphne bushes have sparse foliage on the interior and do not bounce back from severe pruning, so keep the pruning cuts within the dense foliage closer to the branch tips.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use clean, sterilized shears to prevent the spread of plant diseases. Use a 10-percent bleach solution to clean the shears before use.
  • Prune daphne shrubs only after they flower. Pruning the shrubs later or earlier removes the flower buds and prevents the bush from blossoming.

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