Pruning Guide for Hebe shrubs. How to
Most Hebes need little or no pruning. However
the larger-leaved types are prone to damaged stems, and these can be
safely cut back at any time during the growing season.
Dead-heading of old flowers is well worth the effort.
It can extend the flowering period, or encourage a further show
of flowers later in the year. If your
particular plant becomes straggly, then cutting back hard - to within
30cm of the ground - will rejuvenate it. However, this last option should
be done with care! See below.
Hebe Tricolor is one of the less hardy types of
Hebes that will probably have to be cut back quite hard
after a hard winter. There will normally be new shoots
emerging from lower down the stems, so pruning back any
dead wood should stop at the new growth buds. These will
soon break out to form new branches.
How and When to Prune Hebes.
Hebe eliptica. This and other similar Hebe bushes,
often suffer from snow damage, which opens up the centre
of the shrub and often causes some of the branches to
snap off under the weight.
Hebe Midsummer Beauty and other similar long
leaved Hebe varieties, generally require no pruning
other than cutting out winter damage. However, the
shrubs tend to get a bit top heavy, with bare stems at
the bottom of the bush. Cutting back a few of the older
stems to low down - near the base, will allow new
branches to form, which will better clothe the shrub
from top to bottom. Dear heading of the flowers as soon
as they fade, will ensure continuation of the flowering
Pruning damaged and old Hebes.
However, larger growing
varieties can suffer damage in winter months - either by
weight of snow or severe frost damage. In this case, if
it is not sufficient to prune out the damages
stems/branches, they can be cut back quite hard. This is
best done in two stages. Firstly cut around one third of
the branches quite hard, then when the these start to
re-generate into new growth - usually after just a few
weeks - the remaining two thirds of the branches can be
By far the most important
pruning operation that can be carried out with the
larger leaved/flowered varieties, is to regularly dead
head to faded flowers. This light prune - if it can be
so called - will prolong the flowering period my several
months in some cases.
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By David Hughes -