What is Hebe?
Hebe (Hebe spp.) are hardy round, evergreen shrubs. They are part of the Scrophulariaceae or Foxglove family and are native to New Zealand, New Guinea and South America. There are a large number of cultivars and hybrids available where most grow to around 1-1.5m high and wide, with a naturally rounded shape and a dense habit. Some species are grown for their foliage while others are grown for their abundance of flowers. Hebe foliage can be light to dark green. Some varieties have variegated foliage while others have burgundy coloured new leaves. There are two groups of Hebes when looking at foliage; one group with oval to lance-shaped leaves while the second has smaller compressed leaves which are the harder of the species. Hebe flower during Autumn through Winter into Spring. They produce small tubular flowers that are bourn on short spikes. The flower colours are white, pink, blue, deep purple, and crimson. Hebe prefer a full sun to part shade position in the garden that has well drained soil. They are frost tolerant and will tolerate dry periods during Summer.
Benefits of Growing Hebe
Hebes are low maintenance and easy to grow. They have a long flowering season which makes them very attractive for most of the year. Their blooms bring bees and other beneficial insects to the garden. Hebe can be grown as part of a low care garden, trimmed into a hedge or used as a feature plant in the garden or pot. As a compact shrub, it makes a fantastic border, lining pathways or driveways and will tolerate windy, exposed or coastal sites.
How to Grow Hebe
Cool to mild tropical.
Sizes vary however most small varieties are around 40cm high and the taller varieties get to around 1 to 1.5 meters high.
Pretty N’ Pink Height: 30-40cm, Width: 90cm
Marie Antoinette Height: 50cm-1m, Width: 50cm-1m
Heebie Jeebies Height: 1m, Width: 1m
When To Plant Hebe
Hebes are not fussy about the soil type, provided it is well-drained.
How To Plant Hebe
Plant in full sun to part shade, with the plant crown at soil level.
Hebe Plant Care
Requires regular watering after establishment, particularly during the warmer months.
Mulch to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds.
Feed them annually in Spring with a slow release fertiliser.
Prune after flowering to maintain a tidy compact shape.
In humid areas, some Hebes may suffer from fungal diseases such as leaf spot and powdery mildew. Diseases can be treated with fungicide.