Shrubby veronica, or Hebe, offers spectacular flowering and simply beautiful leaves.
Summary of key Hebe facts
Height: 1 to 5 feet (30 to 150 cm)
Exposure: full sun, part sun
Foliage: evergreen – Flowering: March to November depending on the variety
Caring for this plant, from planting to pruning, should help you get magnificent flower clusters.
Planting Hebe or shrubby veronica
Planting at other times than fall is perfectly possible for specimens purchased in pots or containers.
- For planting, avoid winter freezing and summer heat.
- Water regularly if you’re planting in spring or at the beginning of summer.
Always choose a sunlit and wind-sheltered spot because Hebe is vulnerable to cold frost spells.
Shrubby veronica tolerates part sun.
- Follow our guidance for planting
Making cuttings is the easiest and fastest way to propagate your Hebe.
- Prepare your shrubby Veronica cuttings at the end of summer.
- Collect stems from soft wood branches, the branches that came from new growth that haven’t yet hardened completely.
- Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost one or two pairs at the crest.
- Dip the cuttings in powdered rooting agents.
- Put the cuttings in special cutting soil mix, near light but not in direct sunlight.
- Keep the substrate moist and protect your cuttings in winter, keeping them out of the cold.
Pruning and caring for Hebe
Remove wilted flowers regularly, snipping the stem just below the flower (deadheading).
This is how you will trigger new flowers.
If needed, you can also cut the plant back at the very beginning of spring.
In case of strong frost spells, it may be that your shrubby Veronica is hit, and that part of the leaves turn brown and die instead of growing back.
If this happens, remove all dead portions that have frozen, to stimulate new shoots.
In winter, mulch on the ground will protect roots from freezing.
Transplanting and moving a Hebe shrub
Shrubby veronica keeps adding wood, flowers and beauty as year come and go, so it might reach the point where you would like to transplant your hebe.
- May, in the middle of spring, is the best time to do this to avoid the last frosts.
Here is the best way to move your veronica shrub
- Dig out the hebe clump with as much roots as you can. For a 4-foot (1.25 meter) shrub, the root ball should be about two feet across.
- Carry the clump to right next to where you want to plant it, and soak it in a pail or basin.
- Dig a hole that is around twice the size of the root clump.
- Transfer some soil from the old growing spot to the new one to reduce transplant shock.
- Soak the hole thoroughly, place the root ball so that it’s level with the ground, and backfill.
When finished, press the soil down around your hebe, add a bit more soil if needed, and water abundantly. Remember to water at least once, best twice a week for the first few months.
Learn more about Hebe
The beautiful purple-pink, blue or white panicles (depending on the variety) stay in place and will keep decorating the beautiful dark green leaves during the most part of the winter.
Its bushy aspect and ornamental appeal will engage the by-goer along edges, flower beds, and also pots and garden boxes on the terrace.
Hebe resists freezing when winters are cold down to more or less 14°F (-10°C). But it still is a bit fragile during the first years after planting.
Remarkable shrubby Veronica varieties
- Hebe andersonii – the most common variety, it bears beautiful purple panicles.
- Hebe vernicosa: this is a white-flowered variety, and the flowers are smaller.
- Hebe pinguifolia: another white-flowered variety that flowers at the beginning of summer.
Smart tip about Hebe
If you match Hebe together with a low boxwood hedge, you’ll create a striking evergreen bed.