Winter Daphne Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' (v)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
gold-edged winter daphne


The Winter Daphne is an evergreen shrub known for its variegated leaves and fragrant flowers. The leaves are glossy with a beautiful green center and distinct creamy-yellow margins decorating the edges, giving a striking contrast that catches the eye. During late winter to early spring, the plant becomes even more attractive when it blooms with clusters of small, starry flowers. These blossoms are usually pink to purple on the outside with a softer pink or white interior, exuding a delightful, intoxicating scent that can often be noticed from a distance, filling the air with its sweet perfume. The overall appearance of the Winter Daphne is that of a lush, neatly shaped shrub that adds both color and fragrance to the garden, making it especially valuable during the cooler months when fewer plants are in flower.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Variegated Pink Daphne, Gold-Edged Winter Daphne, Variegated Winter Daphne.

    • Common names

      Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Winter daphne is considered toxic. All parts of the plant contain poisonous substances, primarily daphnetoxin. Ingestion of any part of the winter daphne can cause severe symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to more significant issues like convulsions, coma, and even be fatal if enough of the plant material is consumed. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some individuals.

    • To pets

      Winter daphne is also toxic to pets, such as dogs and cats. Similar to its effects on humans, all parts of the plant contain toxic compounds that can lead to severe symptoms if ingested by pets. Symptoms of poisoning in pets can include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, convulsions, and in extreme cases, death. Even a small amount ingested can cause a toxic reaction, so it is essential to prevent pets from accessing any part of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The variegated leaves with yellow margins and green centers add visual interest to gardens.
    • Fragrant Flowers: The plant produces highly fragrant blooms that can perfume an entire garden in late winter to early spring.
    • Evergreen Nature: As an evergreen shrub, it provides year-round foliage and structure in the landscape.
    • Compact Size: Its relatively small size makes it suitable for garden borders, containers, or small gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, it requires minimal care, aside from protecting it from harsh conditions.
    • Wildlife Attractant: The flowers can attract pollinators, such as bees, enhancing the biodiversity of the area.
    • Winter Interest: Blooming in late winter, it provides color and interest during a time when few other plants are flowering.
    • Shade Tolerance: The plant can tolerate partial shade, making it versatile for different garden situations.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata' is often used in themed gardens, such as moon gardens, where its variegated leaves can catch the moonlight and create a glowing effect.
    • The plant can serve as a natural border or edging in a garden setting, with its distinct foliage providing visual interest year-round.
    • Daphne's denser growth habit makes it suitable for creating low-lying hedges or for topiary work in formal gardens.
    • Its compact size allows it to be a suitable choice for planting in outdoor pots and containers to adorn balconies, patios, or entrances.
    • The attractive foliage and colorful berries can be used in floral arrangements and wreaths, often in conjunction with flowers.
    • Owing to its pleasant scent, the flowers can be used to naturally scent small indoor areas or enclosed patios when positioned properly.
    • Widely used as an ornamental component in foundation plantings around homes and public buildings, integrating well with other shrubs and perennials.
    • In larger conservation and rewilding projects, it can provide evergreen ground cover and habitat for small wildlife.
    • It can be placed around water features or along garden streams to enhance the aesthetic appeal with its foliage contrasting against water.
    • The plant is used in cultural ceremonies and festivals in some cultures, typically as a decorative element due to its fragrance and appearance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Winter Daphne is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Winter Daphne is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love: Daphne odora, commonly known as "Winter Daphne," has been associated with love and romance in Greek mythology, due to the story of the nymph Daphne who was turned into a laurel tree to escape the god Apollo.
    • Protection: The plant's evergreen nature and the mythological context suggest a symbol of immortality and protection, as Daphne was shielded from Apollo's advances.
    • Purity: The sweet and fragrant blossoms of Winter Daphne symbolize purity and the plant is often found in gardens to bring this aspect to the surroundings.
    • Immortality: Reflecting the myth where Daphne becomes an eternal laurel tree, the plant embodies the idea of everlasting life and undying elements in nature and myth.
    • Creativity: Because of its pleasant scent and beautiful appearance, the Winter Daphne is also thought to spur creativity, making it a fitting gift for artists and creative individuals.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late winter-early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Winter Daphne should be watered thoroughly, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. It's crucial to allow the topsoil to dry out slightly before the next watering, which is typically once a week, but this may vary depending on climate and season. Generally, using one to two gallons of water every week to ten days during the growing season is adequate. Over winter, reduce watering to every few weeks, just enough to prevent the soil from drying out completely.

  • sunLight

    Winter Daphne thrives in partial shade to full sun conditions, especially appreciating morning sunlight with afternoon shade. The ideal spot for this plant is one where it gets bright but indirect light, as too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. A location that receives filtered sunlight or is shaded during the hottest part of the day is best for keeping Winter Daphne healthy.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Winter Daphne prefers a temperate range with daytime temperatures around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and not below 20 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Extreme cold or heat can be detrimental to the plant. For optimal growth, maintaining a stable environment that avoids temperature fluctuations, particularly avoiding frost, is ideal.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Winter Daphne to maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased branches, which encourages healthy growth and flowering. The best time to prune is just after the plant has finished blooming in the spring. Pruning is generally done annually, and sporadic removal of branches may be necessary to alleviate any congestion within the plant’s structure or to remove damage.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Winter Daphne prefers well-draining, loamy soil rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of about 6.0-7.0. The best soil mix can be created by mixing garden soil with peat moss, perlite, and compost to improve drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Winter Daphne typically does not require frequent repotting and can be sensitive to root disturbance. It should only be repotted every 2-3 years or when it has clearly outgrown its current pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Winter Daphne thrives in moderate humidity levels, but it is adaptable and does not require overly humid conditions. Aim for about 40-50% humidity which is typical for most indoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and avoid hot, dry air.

    • Outdoor

      Protect from harsh sun; mulch well; shelter from cold winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Winter daphne (Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata') begins its life cycle when a seed germinates, typically in a well-draining, fertile soil that remains cool and moist. The seedling then develops into a young plant with a rosette of leaves and a root system which expands to establish the plant. As it matures, the winter daphne grows into a bushy, evergreen shrub, characterized by its glossy, yellow-edged leaves and robust branching structure. Once mature, during late winter to early spring, it produces fragrant, pinkish-white flowers, attracting pollinators that facilitate the plant's reproduction. After pollination, small red berries develop, which later disperse seeds either through animal consumption or natural dropping. This perennial shrub may live for several years, during which it can be propagated by cuttings for new plants, while continuing its annual cycle of flowering and seed production.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter-early spring

    • One of the most popular methods of propagating Daphne odora 'Aureomarginata', also known as variegated winter daphne, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is typically performed in late summer. To propagate, a piece of stem from the current year's growth that has begun to mature and harden is taken, usually about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) long. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end can be dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. The cutting is then placed in a well-draining potting mix, and the environment is kept humid, often by covering it with a clear plastic bag or placing it in a greenhouse. The cutting must be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating and drying out. With proper care, roots will generally develop within a few weeks to a couple of months.