changed my mind about the Hebe

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I planted some Hebe 'Blue Mist' in 2009. Some were on a slope, amended clay, late afternoon shade. The struggled mightily, finally dying 2010/2011 when we had a bitter windy cold day. Apparently in New Zealand where Hebes are from, it gets cold, or windy but rarely cold and windy. I had also planted two in a sunny spot, also amended clay, 2 feet from a new rock wall. These struggled, but survived. I always meant to rip them out because they seemed kind of ratty, and the blooms were minimal. Now I am so glad they stayed! The spill over the edge perfectly. There is a bare spot up top, where a Rue bush was winning the battle, but I took out the rue and it is already filling in. They have been blooming for weeks now, and are not done. They only needed time and neglect to be beautiful.

Thumbnail by Pistil
Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Hmm, the other pictures did not post, I will try again.

Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil
Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

Wow! It does look beautiful. I guess it finally came into its own, given the right conditions. I also have a few hebes that I wonder if I should keep or take out. The leaves and flowers of mine look great, but they have rangy, sprawling stems and the middle is now bare and open, and funny looking. I guess I need to figure out how and when to prune it....or let it trail over a wall like you did. There the form works.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I did some reading about hebes a few years ago, and most are considered extremely prunable. I also have a hebe 'Southerland' which is a big light green mound. The same cold wind killed one plant, and the other died back on the upwind side. I pruned out the dead stuff, now it is again a perfect mound. Otherwise I have never pruned any of them. If you are considering getting rid of them, it makes sense to give pruning a try. One source said prune after flowering, another says spring, or spring AND after flowering are ok. Many will usually tolerate hard pruning.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

Well I guess I'll wait 'til they are done flowering and prune to see what happens.

South Beach, OR(Zone 9a)

Beautiful! Thanks for posting this, I will keep Hebe on my 'to do' list. My neighbor has it in her yard and it is thriving.

Seattle, WA

Beautiful, colorful blooms on those, Mimi! I don't even know if mine flower or not. All I can say is they grow like gangbusters, so give 'em some room. I think most varieties have a very pleasing leaf shape and there are interesting shades of green and blue-green.

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

My observations about hebes: in general, the smaller leafed varieties tend to be hardier, I have not had total success with them, so am not sharing my expertise, only my experiences.

I had a gray green leafed variety that started looking very scraggly, so I pruned it. It died. However, a branch that had touched the ground had rooted, so it is now big and full again, but just in a slightly different spot. This one is about 30" tall x 38" wide.

Hebe purpurea 'Nana' became my favorite in a big hurry. When I bought it, it was about 8" tall x 6" wide and quickly grew to about 36" x 36" with beautiful coloring and tiny leaves. Then it started dying from one side. I frantically took cuttings, and eventually the situation stabilized (about 35% died, all on one side), it also started flopping over, so I wouldn't say it looks great now, but it is sprouting from down low on the stems, so I have hope that it will be beautiful again. Plan is to prune and root cuttings in the spring.

Hebe 'Bracken Hill' is a carefree sprawler with no issues so far

Vashon, WA(Zone 8b)

How do you successfully get a Hebe cutting rooted? Mine don't seem to root easily in a jar of water.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Yah-I was thinking of trying cuttings too. My book says June-Sept is best.I suspect that since Hebe are drought-tolerant they might prefer to be put in moist Perlite so the new roots could get some air? How did you do it in2art?

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

I do them in a sterile potting mix. Take cutting of maybe 2-3" and remove leaves from bottom (about 3/4"). Scrape a bit of cambium off the bottom on one side...1/4 to 1/2" or so. Cut remaining leaves down by half. This makes it easier for the rootless cutting to support itself. Dip in rooting hormoney, poke a hole in rooting medium and place cutting in hole, gently push the medium around the cutting and water in well. One of the biggest tricks for cutting propagating is selecting the right cuttings. Think 'snappy' it should not be so green that the stem flexes without breaking, and it also shouldn't be woody where it cracks. This is a general rule of thumb and there are exceptions. Another helpful technique is time get a heel cutting...that's when you tear the cutting from the stem and it takes a little bit of stem with it. This has lots of rooting hormones.

Hope this helps you.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

That sounds easy-at what time of year have you done Hebe cuttings? I got some new hormone this summer, so I can do cuttings this fall and winter. I did a Cestrum "Orange Peel" successfully this summer, it is growing on my windowsill now.

Bellevue, WA(Zone 8a)

I honestly don't recall when I did the cuttings. I was worried because one part of the plant seemed to be dying and I was worried that I would lose the whole thing. It didn't die, bit it did start getting tall and falling over. It is now sprouting from the bottoms of the stems, so I'm sure it's going to live. I want to cut the flopped over part some, so will do a bunch of cuttings at that tint. I'd like to do some soon and more in spring.

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