Forum home Problem solving

Browning Hebe

Hi there,

We've noticed that the large Hebe at the front of our house has started browning with dead leaves on some of its branches (see pictures). The rest of it seems fine. The bush is many years old and I have not seen it do this in the past. Any idea what might be wrong/how I can help it?

Could it be the heat we've had in the UK this summer?


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,422
    I agree, it could be the heat but give them a good drink in the late evenings. Do this every 3-4 days whilst the weather is still over 25 degrees. These Hebes do that from time to time, and when you see these dried areas, you can prune them off. In time the neighbouring branches will grow over the gaps left. Try pruning back lightly. If they don't recover in the next  6-8 weeks, you can prune further back into the shrub.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 7,311
    I sympathize with you. Mine has recently done exactly the same but as it was in a prominent position and was getting a little too large, I've cut it down completely and my OH has dug it out. I'm sure Borderline is right, but hebes do look a right mess while they are regrowing.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,039
    I'm about to take a couple out of the pots they're in. I could cut them back [only one is really poor] but I've decided to have a total change instead!
    Sometimes they don't react very well to hard hacking back, but it can often be a case of 'it can't look any worse'. We haven't had the level of prolonged  heat here, and the ones in borders are all fine,but I've decide to howk them out too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks all!

    I actually took a closer look this evening and noticed a few (presumably new) green leaves amongst the brown ones... I wonder if this might be a good sign and if I should leave it alone for now (other than giving a good soak frequently as above)?
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,422
    There is no rush in removing the brown bits. If you are seeing some new growth, leave it alone and wait. Most plants once established are quite resilient. 
  • Red mapleRed maple Posts: 206
    I’m glad I’ve seen this thread as I posted something similar yesterday about my hebe, so glad to see some responses here. I, too, have noticed some green appearing amongst the brown on closer inspection, so am going to leave it alone for a while apart from continuing to water it of course. Looks a bit unsightly at the moment, but it looks as if it might sort itself out.
  • I think I have lost a Hebe due to drought and also three more long established shrubs
    that are all in a south facing front bed, however I am waiting to see if they pick up now
    its raining. If not they will be lifted out and replaced. Its all down to this beautiful summer.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,039
    The brown bits won't produce new growth as such, but if you get a good bit of new green growth appearing lower down, on the main stems, you can leave everything until that happens, and then remove the brown stuff. 
    It can sometimes be too much for it to cope with if you remove the dead, brown growth too soon. It is unsightly, but if you can live with it, and you like the plants, then it's worth giving them a bit of extra time.  :) 
    I've occasionally done as Bordeline suggests - and carefully wired stems together to cover a gap. That can work very well, but when there's huge amounts of brown, it's pretty impossible! 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

Sign In or Register to comment.