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What to do with this hebe???

Retro1951Retro1951 Posts: 101
Hello everyone, 
This hebe (purple flowers) has got very big, growing over the wall. How far/much can I prune it for it to stay alive?

The second photo is of a shrub I like to identify ...?

Thank you for your help.


  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,127
    As far as the Hebe is concerned, it has obviously grown that way as the surrounding planting has pushed it out towards the light.
    You could trim back where it overhangs the pavement but you will need to be careful how far back you go.You will need to get into the middle of it to see where it could be safely pruned. The finished product may look a bit odd too.
    However, in that situation, the plant will continue to do exactly the same thing - grow out towards the pavement.
    Seems a shame but perhaps cut your losses and think of something more suitable to replace it with ?
    Can't help with the ID but perhaps @Silver surfer could advise :)
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,677
    The shrub looks like a Spiraea. Possibly Spiraea Douglasii.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279
    Yes - Spirea.
    You have to be careful with Hebes as mentioned, and ideally they get trimmed lightly after flowering each year to keep them at a suitable size. Once they get a bit too big, cutting back can be tricky. They often don't respond well to harsher pruning. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • I applaud your decision to remove that obstruction to the public pavement. We are plagued with overgrown privet hedges taking over pavements. 
  • Retro1951Retro1951 Posts: 101
    Hello, Thank you all for the advice on the hebe, it looks like cutting it down...sadly.
    I know about the annoyance of pants covering/hovering over the pavement. Plenty of those around here too...
    However, I am not sure about the spirea, mine does not have those conical flowers..?
    Thank you.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279
    Not all spireas are the same though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Retro1951Retro1951 Posts: 101
    Thank you Fairygirl, I will have a look at some others... What would be the best time to prune it? It has some very long straight upward shoots.

    Thank you
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,677
    Hebes are best pruned after flowering. A light prune at the soft growth. They can take pruning into woodier areas, but be prepared for a long recovery. Due to the cold weather from September onwards, I do not recommend pruning after this time.
  • Retro1951Retro1951 Posts: 101
    Thank you Borderline, I will have a go at the end of this week. Pruning quite hard and see what can be revived....
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