Plant of the Month
Hebes are well known for their versatility with bright foliage colours in the Winter and flourishing flowers of white through to lilac and blue to deep purples from Summer to Autumn.
Available in many varieties, this evergreen shrub is a great addition to any garden and they can be easily grown in containers or borders to suit most tastes and work well with other flowering and foliage plants. Depending on the variety they can grow from 20cm to as much as 4ft in height and spread. Originating from New Zealand and North America, they are hardy enough to grow in the UK climate if placed in full sun throughout the year although they can also grow well in semi-shade too.
Preferring well drained and slightly acidic or alkaline soil, commonly found in most UK gardens, hebes can also grow well in light and heavy clay soils. Requiring relatively low maintenance, this shrub needs little attention to keep it looking at it best. In early Spring examine the plants for signs of any frost damage and prune back any stems to a healthy bud. Dead head any flowering varieties when they start to shrivel up as this will extend the flowering a lot longer. Because hebes don't like nitrogen-rich fertilisers, it’s best to leave nature to work it's best, but if the soil is looking a little dry do give them a good watering during any dry periods.