Like most shrubs, daphnes benefit from extra water when they are newly planted and just before the ground freezes in winter. Otherwise normal rainfall will be adequate. Of course during times of drought it is important to water them every week or so if the soil has dried out. Water with a hose or sprinkler, since the root systems of daphnes do not like drip irrigation lines nearby. Be sure that the water drains into the soil quickly and does not puddle around the roots.
For more information see file About Watering Equipment.
According to the experts daphne shrubs do not like to be fertilized. Because they are sensitive to any chemical disturbance, it is not advisable to feed them with either foliar sprays or granular fertilizers. If compost is available, a thin layer of it spread on the soil under the shrub will provide adequate nutrition and condition the soil.
For more information see file About Fertilizers.
A 2 to 3 inch layer of some organic material such as wood chips, shredded bark or chopped leaves protects shrubs. Spread on the soil under a daphne shrub, this attractive material will discourage weeds, control water evaporation and run off and protect the shrub from damage by lawn care equipment.
For more information see file on Using Mulch.
Fragrant daphnes do not like to be pruned. Limit pruning to clipping broken branches. Older shrubs do not respond to pruning for rejuvenation.
For more information see files on Pruning Shrubs and Choosing Pruning Tools.
In regions north of Virginia, fragrant daphne shrubs are likely to need winter protection. Unless they are located in very sheltered spots, they will benefit from a burlap wind barrier erected a foot or two from the shrub. If snap frosts are possible, drape the shrub with the white spun agricultural fabric available commercially. It allows light and air to penetrate, while shielding tender plants from light frost. Spraying evergreen foliage with anti-transpirant spray protects it from sunscald and excessive water loss.
For more information see file on Winter Protection For Plants.