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Wait 'til frosts are over to trim Hebe?

Hi.  I realise around this time of the year is a good time to trim my Hebe; it has quite a few spent flowers that need decapitating and a light trim all over!  However, should I wait until no frost is forecast for a few days or will it withstand a bit of frost after a trim please?  It's been in the ground for two and a half years now.  I'm in Worcestershire, so not the coldest place... but not the warmest either!  Many thanks in advance.  :)


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,145
    It's best to avoid pruning when frost is forecast because the fresh wounds need time to close and heal.  Frosts can expand and explode cells leaving them wide open to damage and infection.

    The best time to prune a hebe is immediately after flowering finishes so try and do that this year.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,116
    I'd agree with @Obelixx's advice. A light trim after the flowers go over is the best method.
    You'll probably find the old flowers will drop off by themselves anyway, or you can gently remove the dessicated bits by hand if they're very unsightly. In another month or so, during a mild spell,  it should be fairly safe to tidy it, but you then run the risk of new growth not forming well enough to produce flowers. If it's a very late flowering one, you might be ok though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Hi @Obelixx; many thanks for your reply.  I thought leaving the trimming until the frosts are over was the best thing to do but I'm grateful for your confirmation.  I must mention that my Hebe was pretty late flowering last/this year; when I first had it about three years ago, it flowered throughout the Summer but last year it started coming into flower later than usual....there were flowers in December!  If it had flowered when I'm sure it's supposed to (i.e Summer) I would have then deadheaded it in Autumn; but it decided to flower from Autumn onwards last year!  I shall indeed wait 'til the frosts are over then give it a gentle haircut.  Thanks again.  :)
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,145
    Lots of plants are confused by strange weather patterns and/or haven't read their manual.   I have September flowering Michaelmas daisies in full bloom at the mo along with summer flowering osteospermums and I've a group of penstemons that have been flowering since December.    Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and adapt to the plant but always avoid pruning when frosts are expected.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi @Fairygirl; many thanks for getting back to me.  My Hebe certainly did seem to be flowering late last year; I think when the weather is milder I'll give it a gentle deadheading but perhaps only do 50% of it.  That way, if by deadheading I inhibit regrowth at least the other half that I leave will continue to flower?!  Thanks again.  :) 

  • Hi again @Obelixx; thank you for your reply.  Yes, the weather does indeed seem to be erratic.  The warmer climate does absolutely no good for Nature, but that's a whole other topic!  I shall leave my Hebe well alone 'til the frosts have passed.  Many thanks for taking the time to reply to me.  :)
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