Best grown in moist, rich, sandy-humusy, well-drained soils with a neutral pH in part shade. Consider raised plantings in areas of heavy clay soils to insure good drainage. Benefits from a summer mulch or ground cover which will help keep roots cool. Do not allow soils to dry out. Best sited in a location protected from winter winds. Daphnes are often slow to establish and are best left undisturbed once planted. A well-grown 'Carol Mackie' is a beautiful shrub. Unfortunately, it is difficult to grow it well in the St. Louis climate.
'Carol Mackie' is most noted for its outstanding variegated foliage. It is a dense, slow-growing, deciduous shrub which typically grows 2-3' tall with a rounded, mounding habit. Features fragrant clusters of pale pink flowers in late spring which are followed by tiny red drupes (1/3" wide) in fall. Oblong, grayish-green leaves (to 2" long) have striking, cream-edged margins, and the foliage often persists well into December.
Daphnes in the St. Louis area often suffer significant winter injury in severe winters, particularly if improperly planted in locations exposed to cold winter winds and full sun. Plants weakened by winter injury are more susceptible to disease problems. Potential diseases include leaf spots, canker, twig blight, crown rot and virus. Potential insect pests include aphids, mealy bugs and scale. Plants can be temperamental. Michael Dirr reports that daphnes sometimes die very quickly for "no explicable reason."
A small, rounded shrub for smaller gardens. Effective in shrub borders, woodland gardens or in a foundation planting. Good specimen value.