Hebes are a type of plant that needs little or no pruning. The larger-leaved types, however, can be prone to damaged stems and these should always be cut back at any time during the growing season.
Deadheading old flowers on Hebe plants is well worth the effort as it could extend the flowering period for your particular plant or encourage further flowering later in the year. If you find that your specific hebe has become straggly then cutting them back hard – within 30 cm from the ground – will rejuvenate it. This option should be done with care because they’re very sensitive so make sure that you don’t go too far when trimming.
With a few simple tips, Hebe shrubs can be a great addition to any garden or container.
As a flowering evergreen shrub, they should be pruned during their growing season, or right at the end of winter / early spring.
You should not prune them in late autumn – or the winter months – which is why they are typically considered “trouble free” flowering evergreens that just need sprucing up occasionally.
When & How to Prune
Hebe eliptica bushes need to be cut back after flowering. These shrubs often suffer from snow damage, which opens up the centre of the plant and snaps off branches under its weight.
A simple solution requires occasional trimming for new growths to emerge again quickly – especially following a period of abundant blooming that might lead these plants into going completely overgrown. Allowing any seed heads to develop can actually slow down the growth of the plant.
Hebe Midsummer Beauty and other long leaved Hebes generally require no pruning unless damaged over winter but can become top-heavy with bare stems at the bottom of the bush. To increase branching from old branches near the base up to new growth in higher regions, cut back a few older stems as low down as possible on your shrubs.
Deadheading flowers will help prolong the flowering season by several months.
Pruning Damaged and Old Hebes
Hebe Tricolor shrubs are among some of the less hardy types of Hebes. After a harsh winter, they will probably need to be cut back quite severely. The new shoots that grow from lower down on the stems after pruning, should stop just before reaching buds that would break and form new branches for future growth in springtime or summer months.
Larger hebe varieties can suffer injury during severe winters – either by the weight of snowfall or frost damage that may not heal adequately. If this happens, it’s best if you do some light pruning up until about six inches above where there was obvious damage done, but then follow-through with harder pruning.