Hebe diosmifolia may be an ‘old-fashioned plant’, but is still rather popular among gardeners who like white-flowering plants.
H. diosmifolia has small, lustrous, dark green leaves and produces petite flower heads full of white flowers. It is a hardy little shrub that scarcely grows larger than 25 x 30 cm.
The hebes of the past were not the easiest plants to cultivate. They could produce beautiful flowers and foliage one season, only to be riddled with rust, twiggy and flowerless the next, due to no fault of the gardeners who grew them, but rather the erratic behaviour of the older varieties. The new hybrids, however, are much tougher. They are disease resistant, have compact growth habits and carry many beautiful blooms. All that they ask for in return is a gentle hand when pruning and good garden management.
When do they bloom?
You can expect flowers from late spring, right through summer into autumn.
Most suitable climate
Hebes enjoy a mild to cool climate in summer rainfall regions. They are accustomed to the cold and would endure light frost. They are probably not the best choice for a warm and humid subtropical garden, but they can withstand strong and desiccating winds near the coast.
What they need
Location: full sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal.
Soil: plant in compost-rich soil that is very well drained. They don’t like constantly wet feet.
Water: regular watering during warm weather keeps them lush and healthy, but don’t overdo it.
Fertilizing: feed with slow-release 3:1:5 fertilizer during spring, and then every six to eight weeks thereafter until autumn.
Pruning: once the plants have bloomed, trim them lightly to keep them neat.
In a nutshell
* Renewed popularity due to new hybrids.
* Cute filler plants for lasting summer colour.
* Medium water consumption.
* Ideal for smaller gardens