Q.Daphne odora variegated
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?
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.