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Should I dare renovate giant hebes?

Can anyone offer advice, please? I have a giant hebe (actually, two) which ought to form the backdrop to a section of my long border - but they have grown so enormous they have nearly swallowed my rose and are encroaching on my peonies too now.
Should I dare try to hard prune them? I have had a peek round the back and there's only one tiny new stem burst, but that's understandable given how shaded the base of the plants are.
If I were to try, would now be an OK time to have a go?
Here's a couple of pics. The hebes are approaching 7 foot high.


  • I chopped my large leggy hebe back very harshly last month to (the few) green sprouts and it seems to be quite upset about it as there has been no growth since... it isn’t dead so there is still hope-but it looks pretty bad and certainly hasn’t bushed out in the way I was hoping. I have since read that you can cut them back to rejuvenate them but the article recommended by only 1/3 at a time-so cut back 1/3 this year, 1/3 next year and the last 1/3 the year after. Might that be an option?
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    The idea is to not prune into really old wood. Prune back to at least where you still see green growth but never further. They can take ages to rejuvenate from old wood, and in many cases never sprout back stronger, and only put on small growth.
  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 78
    Thanks, both. I think in that case I've not much hope. They've been allowed to come so far forward unchecked (by previous owner not me!) that there's no new growth at all where I would want to cut back to. I guess if I cut as far back as I can into where there is green growth it might stimulate some fresh growth further back and I could work my way back further over a few years. I'll have a go!
  • If they’re smothering your other plants and you have no real attachment to them what have you got to lose?! Worth a shot I reckon. This is my hebe today
    It’s been sulking in this state for a month! It was never particularly lovely so I’m not that upset 🙈
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