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Cutting back a Hebe

Hello, 

Im new to gardening and have just moved into a new house and would like to get the garden upto scratch before the summer. 

I have a massive hebe that is out of control. It is appprox 6ft tall. There is only about 10 inches of green leaves at the end of each branch. 

The problem is i need to cut it back about 2 to 3 ft as it is taking up a lot of room. 

This will obviously leave it completely naked! 

I have a few of questions,

1)Would it be ok to cut back this much?

2)When would be the best time to do it?

3)Will it survive and if so how long would it take to start getting some green back? 

Im sorry if this makes no sense or I am asking something silly but i really don't have a clue. 

 

 

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,884

    You have the heebie jeebies of a hebe there!

    Hebes are a funny plant because they only flower on the growth they made last year. So pruning them always involves losing flowers. As a result, people put off pruning them - next year I'll do it. Except next year comes round and they put it off again,

    Now that you have a monster hebe, it will be very difficult to prune it. A branch that has no green leaves except at the end can't be cut back to non leafy wood. It just won't bother to regrow on that branch.

    I think your best bet will be to turf it out and buy a new one,

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    I agree. I had 3 that I cut right back. They did regrow from the base but only to die, one the following year and two in the next year. They only made spindly, floppy growth and wouldn't have been very attractive if they had survived.

  • Whilst agreeing with the Pansyface notion of 'outing' the offending hebe, I'd also treat the live/ leafy stem portions as cuttings material? Plunging the cuttings into a fairly deep 2litre pot spaced around the edge and minus the big leaves - this will encourage the buds in the nodes and if the compost is kept moist but not soggy, you should have a few rooted cuttings for strategic planting by the autumn. You've nothing to lose and everything to gain by this 'belt & braces' approach. Enjoy the scope that your 'new' garden brings!!

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I've managed to save Hebes by potting up the self layered branches that often occur. Wait a year and the sections mostly manage to even upimage

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