Overgrown Hebe: How to Prune it Properly?

Hebe is a flowering shrub that is mainly grown for aesthetic purposes. This shrub is said to require little to no pruning.

However, an ornamental plant shouldn’t morph into something unkempt. Hence, occasional pruning is required for a typical hebe, but it is crucial for an overgrown hebe.

In this guide, I’ll share the procedure and significance of trimming, the best time to trim enormous hebes, and how often you should do it.

Let’s get into it!

When is the Best Time of the Year to Prune an Overgrown Hebe?

Hebe is one of the easiest shrubs to prune. The best time to take cuttings from an overgrown hebe is between early July and mid-September, which is also the flowering period.

The ideal time for pruning hebes is after the flowering period. You can check your plant early in the summer and see if there are damaged branches or overgrown parts that need shaping.

Should You Prune Your Overgrown Hebe Light or Hard?

Hebes don’t need extensive pruning in general. These plants are good with light annual pruning and regular deadheading.

However, you should consider a hard-cutting session if you see leaves getting too high and growing scraggly. Hard cutting is needed at this point to reshape and revitalize the overgrown hebe.

How to Prune an Overgrown Hebe?

In the summers, right after flowering, you should get rid of dead flowers and excess stems and branches from the shrub. In the winter, make sure to trim away frost-damaged stems. With the help of hand pruners or your own hands, start with flowers and make your way through stems and dead branches. Never remove more than ⅓ of the plant at a time.

Normally, you can prune your hebe any time you see signs of overgrowth. However, the time following the blossoming season is perfect.

Immediately after flowering in summer, you can remove the dead flowers from the shrub and trim away the excess stems and branches.

You can also prune hebes in winter if you live in an area with severely low temperatures. Stems can be damaged by frost; check them in late March and prune them if they are affected.

The pruning process is pretty easy once you know the rules. It is how it is supposed to go:

  • Start with removing spent flowers (deadheading).
  • Then, remove damaged stems, dry branches, and everything useless and hideous.
  • Use pruning shears and trim any stems from recent season’s growth that are longer than 15-20 cm (5 to 7 inches).
  • Wait for new shoots to form before pruning back, as they will serve as the foundation for new branches. Trim back to healthy buds with their faces outward.
  • You can pull dead flowers with your hands as long as you do it correctly. Otherwise, stick to hand pruners or pruning shears.
  • To keep your hebes in a presentable state and lengthen their lifespan, keep performing this procedure each time the blossoming season finishes.
  • Know that hard pruning should be done in phases. It’s a good idea to just remove about a third of the plant at a time.
  • Then, repeat the process only after observing fresh growth.

Why is Pruning Your Hebe Important?

If not pruned from time to time, the hebe shrub faces the danger of losing its shape. Moreover, pruning encourages new growth and extends the lifespan of your shrubs.

A hebe shrub doesn’t require regular trimming several times a year. However, going untrimmed for a whole year will result in it losing shape.

And once it has gotten out of hand, maintaining it will be difficult. Therefore, it is important to prune the hebe once a year.

If your shrubs have grown out a bit too much, you will have to resort to hard pruning. Otherwise, they are fine with a light trimming.

Cutting and deadheading refine the shape of plants and encourage new growth. It can also breathe new life into them and extend their lifespan.

Hence, consider pruning your hebes at least once a year.

How Often Should You Prune a Hebe So it Doesn’t Overgrow?

Trimming your hebe once a year is enough to maintain its appearance and growth. It is integral to keep it in a presentable state. The only time you need to offer this plant intensive care is if it gets messy or exposed to harsh weather like snow.

Many home gardeners think that hebes don’t require pruning at all. And others are unsure of how often they ought to do it. Overall, it isn’t as complicated as it seems.

Here are a few tips that might help solve this mystery:

  • We already established that the best time to prune hebes is after flowering. However, you can also trim shrubs in early spring before the start of a new bloom.
  • If you don’t prune your hebes in summer or spring, consider doing that in late winter. You can remove all the broken branches, dead flowers, diseased wood, and parts damaged by frost at this point.
  • A hebe that has never been routinely pruned can be destroyed by hard cutting. Thus, start training your plants at a young age by giving them yearly light trimming sessions.


  1. What can I do with leggy hebes?

If your hebes have grown too high and leggy, you might have to give them a hard prune to reshape and revive them.

You can consider doing it in early spring, so the shrub has ample time to grow throughout the summer. Or you can prune it in late winter before the appearance of new growth.

  1. How long does it take for hebe to grow?

Hebes are fast-growing plants. They tend to grow organically and require little to no care. You can anticipate fresh, gorgeous flowers two years after planting a hebe.

  1. Should you deadhead hebes?

Yes. You should deadhead hebes. Deadheading is the practice of removing spent blooms from a plant to encourage the development of new flowers and enhance the plant’s overall look. Hebes are no different. Therefore, you must consider this practice to take better care of your plant.

  1. Why have my hebes turned brown?

Hebes can turn brown for multiple reasons, such as overwatering, a lack of water and sunlight, etc. You can start by readjusting their water intake schedule.

Hebes need water once a week. So, if you are overwatering them, that could be the issue. However, the situation is different if you live in a region with long, dry summers. Here, you must water them 2-3 times a week.

If hebe is still wilting, your soil might be dry. To keep the soil in top condition, you should water it more frequently. Always remember that soil should have good drainage, so avoid leaving it wet.

Lastly, ensure your plant receives enough sunlight, as it prefers full sunlight. If there are other trees and plants sharing the sunlight with hebe, give them a trim to get hebe the most out of it.


Hebes are some of the easiest plants to grow at home. They require little upkeep and have a protracted flowering period. Additionally, they can withstand weather adversities and grow swiftly.

Ultimately, all you have to do is take care of pruning (that too on an annual basis). You won’t ever notice your plant growing out of control or becoming ugly as long as you trim and shape it once a year.

The best time to prune hebes is after the flowering period. These shrubs will stay fresher and survive longer if they are pruned annually and deadheaded frequently.


nurseriesonline.co.uk, gardenersworld.com, gardenseeker.garden, gardensillustrated.com, blog.gardeningknowhow.com, loveyourlandscape.org, rhs.org.uk, homequestionsanswered.com,thespruce.com, bloomandbumble.com