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Overgrown Hebe


Hi all, can anyone advise please. We have this hebe, but feel that it in far too big for where it is. As it currently is, it is approximately 8-9ft tall and about 7-8ft wide, with some stems about 2-3in diameter. Looking to find out how hard we can/should cut back and when the best time is.

We live on a north facing aspect on the bank of the river Tay. 



  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Hebes can be a bit tricky to prune back hard. When pruning, avoid cutting off anything beyond an inch in width. They can take ages to grow back and in some cases, never recover. It all depends on what size you have in mind, but a bit of pruning is totally fine. I think reducing overal size by one quarter is the maximum for now.

  • Gary123Gary123 Posts: 2

    Thanks borderline. Any time period I should take this on? Bearing in mind I'm right on the estuary of the river Tay, so we do get some fairly strong weather changes.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126

    I tried reducing the size of a very similar looking hebe years ago.
    It never really came back and I dug it out in the end.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Hi Gary123, I find that Hebe is a plant that is a sign of what you can grow around the area. They are actually quite unfussy once they get going. It's just overgrown shrubs that need to be pruned with care.

    As Pete8 states, it's not always going to respond. I think removal of a maximum of one quarter of your overal size should be fine. Do this next spring. Try to avoid over-thick stems (over 2cms) that are quite woody looking. 

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