Hebe Pascal is a compact, rounded evergreen shrub producing red stems and blue-green leaves that turn a striking deep burgundy colour during the colder months of autumn and winter, providing year-round interest. Delightful mauve flowers are produced in summer. The common name for hebe is shrubby veronica.Position: Thrives in full sun, but also tolerates light shade, in any soil that is moist but well-drained in winter, as they hate having their roots sitting in overly wet soil. Add lots of organic matter, and even sharp sand or grit to heavy clay soils. Shelter from strong cold winds. Hebes are perfect for coastal gardens.
Planting: Water thoroughly or stand the pot in a bucket of water for half an hour before planting. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot, mix compost and a granular fertiliser with the soil from the hole, remove the pot, place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil, back fill with the soil/compost mix and firm down to prevent air pockets. Water well after planting and during dry spells during the first growing season.
Hebes are perfect for providing lots of colour when grown in containers of good compost.
Aftercare: Hebes are fairly drought resistant. Once established in the ground, they only need watering in very dry conditions. When grown in containers they need more frequent watering from April to September. Plants may need protecting during severe winters of prolonged, sub-zero temperatures by covering them with horticultural fleece, and mulching the soil around the base of the plant; protect the roots of those plants growing in pots.
Feeding: Feed in spring and summer with a high potash fertiliser.
Dead heading: Removing spent flowers after flowering may encourage a further flush of flowers.
Pruning: Plants can be trimmed to the desired shape and size after flowering, removing any dead flowers at the same time. Don’t cut back to bare stems, as they may not re-shoot. Frost or cold damaged stems can be cut back in April to a healthy bud or leaf joint.