The Stick flower, Mezereo or Daphne mezereum is a small semi-evergreen shrub native to Asia and central and southern Europe. It is a compact tufts of thin dark brown branches, which usually tend to fall off; the leaves are small, lanceolate, bright green in colour. Between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it fills up with a myriad of flowers of various colours, from white to pink to red, delicately scented. In summer it produces small dark berries containing a few seeds.
All parts of the plant are poisonous, so be careful not to swallow or rub it on the skin.
The Fior di Sticco particularly likes positions in full sun or in partial shade and better to prefer places sheltered from strong winds and too hot sun of the summer months.
It is not afraid of the cold, on the contrary it usually develops better in places where the winter frosts are easy. It can withstand particularly cold temperatures as low as -30°C.
- The genus Daphne (or Daphne) counts about seventy species of suffruticose herbaceous plants, and shrubs, originating from Europe, Asia and Africa, of which about ten are present also …
- This cornel is native to North America, where it is an essential part of the flora of the undergrowth of the foothills: this is why we are perfectly at ease in the Alps and in the Appenines.
- To the genus kolkwitzia belong some species, native to China and Asia; the Kolkwitzia of China is a medium size shrub, with deciduous leaves, of roundish shape. It develops a short…
The variety Daphne mezereum or stick flower has no particular requirements regarding watering.
For most of the year, rainfall can fully satisfy the water needs of daphne; in summer, on the other hand, especially on the hottest days, it is advisable to provide water, preventing the soil from drying out too much, at least every 10-15 days. It is advisable to check that the soil maintains the right level of humidity, even if, at the same time, it is necessary to avoid the formation of dangerous stagnations of water.
Provide fertilizer for flowering plants every 20-25 days from March to October.
The stick or mezereo flower loves soils rich in humus, loose and well drained, regardless of the value of the Ph. To plant this decorative shrub use a compound consisting of peat, sand and soil in equal parts, mixed with a good amount of coarse-grained material, such as expanded clay or pumice stone. The variety of Daphne mezereum is rather rustic and can be planted also in rather difficult soils, seen its good adaptability.
As far as the multiplication of the variety Daphne mezereum is concerned, this can happen by seed or by cutting, obtained from the adult plants. The new plants are to be kept in a container for at least two years, or in any case for at least two winters, in order to avoid that the intense cold ruins them before being able to be planted, in this way they will be able to acquire the necessary strength to resist the repotting.
Stick flower, Mezereo – Daphne mezereum: Parasites and diseases
The plants of the Stick Flower or Mezereo are generally quite resistant and are not often affected by pests and diseases that can compromise their health, however, they can present problems related to the attack of aphids and cochineals, especially with regard to the younger plants, which can suffer the most damage. Their presence can also cause the onset of other diseases of fungal origin. In this case, it is possible to intervene with special products that will counteract the spread.