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Advice on pruning hebe


By Andrea

Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I think this is some type of hebe, it is covered in white flowers in Summer. However it has become very large and I was wondering if anyone knows if I can prune it and if so when?

On plant Hebe




We had several hebes in this state in the garden when we first moved in. I followed advice to prune hard back after the worst of winter but before new spring growth started. I was warned that the plants might not survive - none of ours did. It seems to be more acceptable to take cuttings if you want to keep the plants.

26 Jan, 2008


Thanks- Do you know how would you take cuttings from it?

26 Jan, 2008


Not until later summer, unfortunately, semi-ripe shoots are required for cuttings. Check This suggests putting the cuttings in a cold frame in shade. Other advice says there is no need to cover but shade is best. It depends where you are, I suppose. I did like our overgrown hebes because they brought
in many butterflies, but they were straggly and ugly.

26 Jan, 2008


I totally agree with David, these hebes tend to get very woody under the lush top growth and if they haven't been regularly pruned a hard cut back will probably kill them. I have one like this that has small leaves and white flowers which I rescues from a tip, it has survived but it is showing woody stems through the green growth. Wait until the new growth has started to show then take some cuttings, hebes aren't too bad for a good success rate or you could replace it with a new one and prune it every year and keep it in check.
When taking a cutting make sure it is from semi ripe shoots. Take a cutting about 3 - 4 leaf nodes (shoots) down and cut under the last node, cut at a slight angle to increase the rooting area of the stem. Make sure you don't cut through the node, then remove all the leaves apart from about 3 at the top of the stem then put in a small pot of compost and water with a rose and put them in a cold frame or a sheltered airy place. Keep them moist and you should be fine, best of luck, Andrea.
PS. Hope i haven't told grandma how to suck eggs!! LOL :)

26 Jan, 2008


My RHS book says prune them in May and then you can cut them hard back!!! I inherited so many Hebes when we moved here, I had to go round the garden and count them! There were 12 of them! We had to take one out because it had grown so big and straggly that it blocked the light in the sitting room. Then one died back after a heavy frost and didn't recover. There are at least 2 which need drastic cutting back, so I'm going to experiment on the worst one as recommended and I'll let you know whether it grows back or pops its clogs! I'll probably take cuttings as back-up.

26 Jan, 2008


Take it out and replace with another, they are easy from cuttings .I would take cuttings in late summer , do make sure thay are kept in the shade. On the other hand they are relatively cheap to buy , but young ones of your own are more satisfying and grow quite quickly, except 'armstongii' which is slow growing.

27 Jan, 2008


This is my first post so i would like to say a warm hello to everyone!
My son gave me a large cutting (no idea what it is called!) that was taken just before Christmas, he put it in a bottle just over half filled with water and it rooted within a couple of weeks! It now has some healthy roots and i'ved potted it up today so it might be worth taking a chance on doing some now and if no success try later! I had the bottle on my kitchen windowsill.

27 Jan, 2008


Hi Jackiejakes - Welcome to GoY :)

27 Jan, 2008


When taking hebe cuttings are they cut under the leaf node or heal cuttings? I don't have any experience on how to take a heal cutting, I know you take Rosemary cuttings like this but some advice from the more experienced members would be appreciated

27 Jan, 2008


Hi Jackiejakes - Nice to see you here. You have fun and learn loads.

Andrea - If I remember right, a heel cutting is when you bend a young, strong shoot away from the main plant stem. When it 'snaps' off you pull down and a piece of the old bark comes away with it. This is the heel. Plant it up and keep it watered and warm - within weeks or a month (depending on the plant!) it should have rooted.

27 Jan, 2008


I am not 100% certain, but I think it would be best to take cuttings about 3" long, just below a leaf node, and remove the lower leaves. If this is done later in summer, do not use shoots which have, or have had, flowers.

27 Jan, 2008


I agree with David, most cuttings are best taken under a leaf node.Unless heal cuttings are trimmed up cleanly and properly,I have found them difficult.Having said that sometimes you snap something off and shove it in the ground and it just grows!!!!

28 Jan, 2008

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