I live in Truro, Cornwall. I transferred my Daphne from pot to border last year and I notice buds BUT it has lost All leaves. It is a clay area, but dug a hole twice the size of root ball, filled it with normal compost! Should have this been Ericaceous? What do you suggest? Many thanks Regards Neil Benson
Daphne Odora Variegated
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Through some research I have found this information for successful planting of Daphne odora.
Locate your plant in a well draining site with at least 3 hours of shade.
The planting hole should be 50% deeper and twice the width of the root ball.
Reserve this soil in a wheel burrow and then mix with fine sand and ground bark--in a ratio of 1 part sand, 2 parts bark, 1 part soil.
Tease out the roots and set the root ball just slightly higher then the soil line.
Backfill the plant with the mixture.
Mulch the planting with a 3inch layer of organic mulch and water well.
Keep the mulch away from the trunk as this can lead to stem rot.
I suspect the clay soil that you mention is playing a part in the stress and leaf drop your plant is experiencing.
Crown and root rot is a threat to Daphne in poorly draining soil.