Daphne (Daphne odora) charms gardeners with its leathery, dark green leaves and intensely fragrant flower clusters, which appear in winter when most other shrubs lay dormant. It propagates from semi-ripe cuttings taken in early to midsummer and will rapidly put on growth if planted in a shaded bed with moist, draining soil. On the other hand, the newly rooted cuttings are very vulnerable to damage under hot, humid conditions, so they should only be grown outdoors within U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 to 9.
Fill a 4-inch pot using a mix of 1 part perlite and compost. Mix together until the perlite is fairly well distributed through the sterile compost.
Pour water into the pot until the compost is moistened. Press on the top layer of the compost to squeeze out the excess liquid and to even out the surface. Poke a 3-inch-deep hole in the center of the compost mixture.
Collect a cutting that is 6-inch-long out of the tip of a daphne branch that is vigorous. Sever the stem just below a pair of leaves. Strip off and discard the leaves out of the base half of the cutting that is daphne.
Dip the tip of the daphne cutting in rooting hormone talc. Gently tap on the stem to loosen the powder that is excess. Add the cutting up to its lowest pair of leaves in the planting hole. Firm the compost around the stem to maintain the cutting vertical that is daphne.
Place the potted outside on a shaded garden seat. Because the leaves are vulnerable to dehydration until after rooting occurs, protect the cutting out of strong winds.
Maintain light moisture in the compost and perlite mix for four to six weeks, or until the cutting that is daphne takes root. Test for origins by tugging upward and gently gripping the base of the cutting edge. Feel for resistance, which suggests the cutting has put roots down.
Grow the daphne cutting in its rooting pot for two weeks. Transplant it into a shaded bed with rich soil, moist and superb drainage. Watch for growth in four weeks following it builds a root system that is workable.