© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh

Introducing...

Hebe

These neat and colourful evergreen shrubs are ideal for a sunny border, providing summer flowers and year-round foliage. Compact types work well in containers or as border edgings, while larger types can be grown as hedging. The flowers are attractive to bees.

Looks

Hebes are bushy evergreen shrubs with purple, pink or white flowers in summer, and sometimes in spring or autumn. The leaves can be ornamental too, often tinged with pink or variegated. Plants range from 30cm (1ft) up to 1.2m (4ft) tall.

Likes

They like sunshine and need soil that drains freely. Most prefer a warm spot, and a few need protection from winter wet and cold. They also enjoy seaside conditions, coping well with salty breezes.

Dislikes

They won't thrive in very heavy, wet soil or deep shade. Large-leaved hebes are vulnerable to cold, and frost or chilly winds can damage the foliage. Hebes don’t respond well to hard pruning.

Did you know?

Hebes with small, scale-like leaves, similar to those on conifers, are called ‘whipcord’ hebes. Usually dense and compact, they are tougher than hebes with larger leaves.

Growing guide

Choosing hebes

Hebes we recommend

Buy hebes from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports our work as a charity

Useful advice

Buying: trees and shrubs

Buying: trees and shrubs

Container maintenance

Container maintenance

Containers: planting up

Containers: planting up

Containers: winter selection

Containers: winter selection

Plants for coastal areas

Plants for coastal areas

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: smaller for year round interest

Shrubs: smaller for year round interest

Trees and shrubs: planting

Trees and shrubs: planting

Other plants you may like

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.