why is my odora rock daphne wilting?

Asked August 25, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

the upper part of plant is wilting and lower part is ok. We atered it probably to long of a time? Also leaves showing a yellow and brown on the edge of wilted leaves. Thank you

Benton County Oregon trees and shrubs diagnosis of plant problems horticulture

1 Response

Without any photographs it is difficult to tell what may be ailing your Daphne. Daphnes have earned a reputation for dying unexpectedly. After reading up on the plant’s cultural requirements I can understand why as our weather normally swings from flood to drought.

Daphnes dislike extremes in temperature and moisture. Even though it prefers well drained soil it also prefers soil that is always moist. Our unusually hot and dry summer could be the cause of your plant’s distress. The brief description of your plant sounds like it may have wilted and suffered damage due to sun exposure and the extreme heat we have been experiencing. Not knowing the siting of your plant or seeing photos of the leaves I can’t be sure.

Daphne odora prefers shade or at least afternoon shade protected from hot sun. It is also important to plant it in an area where the soil is well drained. In our area, with our clay soil that means adding plenty of compost when planting the shrub or putting it in a container. Primary diseases that affect Daphnes are root rot and crown rot. For this reason I would counsel planting the shrub with the crown elevated an inch or two above the soil to counter our normally wet winters. Also you mentioned that you may have watered it ‘too long’ that could also be a problem if the soil is not well drained. Too much water can smother the roots. Too much water and the plant wilts, too little water and it also wilts. Best check the moisture of the soil around your plant. Daphnes also resent transplanting and hard pruning. They also do better when their roots are left undisturbed. Many people plant flowers beneath them, they would prefer not to have the disturbance to their root zone. The good news is that part of the plant has not wilted. Check the moisture of the soil before watering further. Mulching the root zone will help retain moisture in this hot weather. Don’t add water if the soil is too wet but do not let the soil dry out.