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Hebe Andersonii looking black in parts

Parts of my Hebe Andersonii are looking black and dead. Does anyone have any idea why this happens and if I should do something such as trim the unhappy looking bits away?


  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,823
    This could have been caused by heat. My hebe....similar looking thing....has survived ice and snow and every summer up until now and I believe the excessively hot temperatures have damaged it this year.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,584
    It's most likely a climactic issue, or else poor, unsuitable, or fluctuating, growing conditions. You seem to have quite a few dead looking plants near it too? Is the soil waterlogged and compacted?
    It could have been already stressed by cold, wet weather last winter, followed by hot, dry weather. They sometimes die off here due to our winter weather, as we have cold wet ground for long periods which they generally don't like.
    You can cut the dead bits out, but it may not recover.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks for the replies - maybe it is a heat thing then as I'm in Cambridgeshire (East Anglia) and we've had two very hot, dry summers. It's is in a raised bed which is well drained and dry. It's been there since 2014 and was fine until this year. I may try moving it to a different place to see if it's happier in general.

    The others plants are fine - the ones to the left in the middle photos are my lavender plants which I cut back a week ago. I do this every year and they come back really well. The black ones by the Hebes are Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' so should be black! There's also a calcelaria which is recovering from being in a pot and now getting established in the ground.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,584
    Blimey - you don't take any prisoners with the lavender pruning, do you?  :D
    I knew the black one was ophiopogon, it was the others I was concerned about  ;)

    You could take some cuttings from the hebe - they take quite readily. That will give you a back up [although not a speedy one] if that one doesn't make it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LOL Fairygirl! Your turn of phrase made me laugh out loud as it's the sort of thing I'd say! 

    Following a complete redesign of our garden in 2014 I bought 17 99p Lavender Hidcote tiny plants to go in a circular raised bed. I was new to gardening and thought they'd take a few years to get to the size I wanted. How wrong I was. I bought them in July and they were fabulous by the end of that summer. I learned I needed to cut them back so did so cautiously the first 2/3 years - not going into the woody bits as it said online. Then they started getting bigger and we could no longer sit on the wall in front of them from end of July onwards! So the last couple of years I've been brutal in my cut back on the assumption that they'll die and I'll start again with tiny plants (I have many that have sprouted elsewhere). Only they seem to survive my brutal cutbacks very well and keep coming back. I did this year's cutback on 1st Sept (which is when I've usually done it) and they're already re-sprouting as it's very hot and dry here (Cambridge) still. Every year my husband declares I've killed them and every year I remind him he said that last year!

    Here's some photos - first of 26th June this year, second is 1st August and 3rd is 1st September just before I got the secateurs out with the sick hebe.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,584
    Looks good @Bill and Ben, and a nice seating area to enjoy your warm weather  :)
    Your climate makes a difference though. Lavender looks dreadful here most of the time.
    Having a wider view of the area though, I wonder if the lavender has been shading the Hebe out a bit too. They often die back if that happens. It's possibly been a bit too dry for it too. 
    It's a pity the lavender isn't just a wee bit further back - it wouldn't have encroached on your seat quite so much either. You can layer them - peg stems down with plastic coated wire. It can work very well.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Yes, it is a lovely seating area and it gets the late evening sun. You could be right about the hebe being sheltered. I think I'm going to relocate it. I've done a lot of moving of plants since we planted the entire garden in 2014. As long as I water them well they seem to mostly survive the relocate.

    I do wish I'd planted the lavender about 6 inches further back as it is far too near the front. Will do that when I finally kill it! Might look into your layering idea. Thank you so much for your help. We bought some extra garden (which more than doubled our modest area) in 2012 and it's been quite exciting learning about gardening at this stage in life as an empty nester and early retiree. Was just lawn before!

    Here it is in 2016:

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