Will Hebes Grow In Shade

Will Hebes Grow In Shade

Hebes are popular evergreen shrubs that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. While they are primarily known for their tolerance to full sun, there are some hebes that can also grow in shade. If you have a shady area in your garden and are wondering if hebes can thrive there, you’re in luck!

Shade-tolerant hebes offer a fantastic solution for adding color and texture to low light conditions. Whether you have a fully shaded garden or just a spot that doesn’t receive direct sunlight throughout the day, there are hebes suitable for a range of shady areas.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are hebes that can grow in shade and tolerate low light conditions.
  • Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’, Sweet Woodruff, and Purple Pixie are some shade-tolerant hebes to consider.
  • Hebes require specific care and attention when grown in shade, such as providing moist but well-drained soil and protection from harsh winds.
  • Other shade-loving plants like hostas, ferns, and Japanese maples can complement hebes in shady gardens.
  • When buying shade-tolerant hebes, consider their height, spread, hardiness, and foliage color.

How to Grow Hebe Plants in Shade

When it comes to growing hebe plants in shade, there are a few essential considerations to keep in mind. While most hebes thrive in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade, there are varieties that can tolerate shade and still flourish. In this section, I will provide you with valuable tips and guidance on how to successfully grow shade-loving hebes in your garden.

Choosing the Right Spot:

To ensure the optimal growth of hebes in shade, it is crucial to select a sheltered spot that is protected from strong winds. This will help shield the plants and prevent damage to their delicate foliage. Additionally, ensure that the soil in the chosen location is moist but well-drained, as hebes prefer soil that doesn’t retain excessive moisture. They can tolerate some drought, which makes them fairly low-maintenance plants.

Caring for Shade-Loving Hebes:

To enhance the overall appearance of your shade-loving hebes and promote more abundant flowering, it is recommended to deadhead spent blooms. This simple practice will not only improve the aesthetic appeal of the plants but also stimulate the growth of new blooms. Furthermore, pruning back your hebes in late summer will help maintain their shape and encourage new growth.


If you need to replace old or dead plants, propagating shade-loving hebes through cuttings is a reliable method. In the summer, take non-flowering shoots and place them in a pot filled with moist, gritty, peat-free compost. Maintain adequate moisture levels by covering the cuttings with a clear plastic bag or placing them in a propagator. Once the cuttings show signs of growth, they can be potted up the following spring.

Visual Care Guide:

Shade Requirements Care Tips
Moist but well-drained soil Choose a sheltered spot protected from winds
Deadheading spent blooms Pruning back in late summer
Propagation through cuttings Provide moist, gritty, peat-free compost

Growing hebes in shade requires specific care and attention, but with the right approach, you can have thriving hebes in your shady garden. Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll explore the best hebes for shade tolerance, providing you with more options to enhance your shaded areas with vibrant and beautiful plants.

Best Hebes for Shade Tolerance

When it comes to shade-loving hebes, there are several choices that can thrive in low light conditions. These shade-tolerant hebes are not only beautiful but also offer a variety of colors and textures to shady gardens. Let’s explore some of the best hebes for shade tolerance:

Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’

Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ is a shade-loving plant that can grow well in dry, shady conditions. With its striking dark foliage and delicate purple flowers, it adds a touch of elegance to any shaded area.

Sweet Woodruff

Sweet Woodruff is a creeping plant that provides a carpet of green foliage and delicate white flowers in shaded areas. It creates a beautiful and lush groundcover that thrives in shade.

Purple Pixie

Purple Pixie is a hebe cultivar with dark greeny-purple leaves and vibrant purple spikes of small flowers. Its compact size makes it perfect for container gardening or for adding color to the front of a border.


Pulmonaria is a low-growing plant with polka-dot leaves and two different colored flowers on the same plant. It adds a unique touch to shady gardens and attracts pollinators with its abundant blooms.


Cornus is a tall shrub with variegated leaves and bright red stems in winter. It provides year-round interest in shaded areas and adds structure to the garden with its beautiful foliage and stunning winter color.


Actea is a plant with Autumn flowering spires of white flowers. It thrives in shade and adds a touch of elegance to any garden with its graceful blooms and attractive foliage.


Lamiums are wildflowers with bright yellow hoods of flowers. They are great for adding pops of color to shady areas and are easy to grow and maintain.


Carex is a sedge with variegated leaves and beautiful variegation on the leaf. It adds texture and interest to shady gardens and pairs well with other shade-loving plants.


Heucheras are semi-evergreen plants with maple-shaped leaves and delicate mini spires of flowers. They come in a wide range of colors and add a splash of beauty to any shaded garden.

These shade-loving hebes are excellent choices for adding color and texture to shady gardens. Whether you’re looking for groundcover, foliage contrast, or delicate blooms, these hebes are sure to thrive in shade and create a beautiful landscape in low light conditions.

Where to Grow Hebes in Shade

When it comes to growing hebes in shade, choosing the right spot is crucial for their success. While hebes are native to scrubland and are generally tough plants, they still need protection from cold winter winds. Here are some tips on finding the best spots for growing hebes in shade:

1. Choose a Sheltered Spot

Look for a sheltered spot in your garden, preferably in front of a south- or west-facing wall. These areas provide protection from the harsh winds that can damage hebes. By planting them in a sheltered location, you create a microclimate that allows the hebes to thrive even in shade.

2. Tolerant of Poor Soils

Hebes are incredibly adaptable and can tolerate poor soils. They are not fussy about soil types and can grow virtually anywhere, making them a versatile choice for shaded areas.

3. Consider Size and Placement

When selecting hebes for shade, consider their size and placement in your garden. Larger hebe cultivars are ideal for the back of a border, creating a stunning backdrop of foliage and flowers. Smaller varieties can be grown towards the front or even in pots, adding bursts of color and texture to shaded areas.

best spots for growing hebes in shade

4. Companion Plants

Hebes work well alongside other shade-loving plants to create a visually appealing garden. Consider planting them alongside catmint, Japanese anemones, cranesbill geraniums, and penstemons. These plants complement each other’s colors and textures, creating a harmonious and vibrant display.

5. Ideal Conditions

The ideal conditions for growing hebes in shade include moist but well-drained soil, protection from cold winds, and a suitable spot in your garden. By providing these optimal conditions, your hebes will thrive and bring beauty to even the shadiest corners of your outdoor space.

How to Plant Hebes in Shade

When it comes to planting hebes in shade, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. By following these suggestions, you can ensure that your shade-loving hebes thrive in their new environment.

In order to give your hebes the best chance of success, it’s recommended to plant them in late spring. This timing allows them to establish their roots during the warmer months of summer.

When digging a hole for your hebe, make sure it is slightly wider than the pot it was originally growing in. This extra space will provide room for the roots to spread out and establish themselves. Place the rootball of the hebe at the same depth it was in the pot, ensuring that the plant remains stable and secure.

Hebes prefer poor soil, so there is no need to add organic matter or fertilizer when planting. The nutrient requirements of hebes are minimal, making them a low-maintenance choice for shady areas.

After planting, be sure to water your hebe thoroughly. This will help to settle the soil around the roots and promote proper establishment. Once the hebe is established, regular watering is still important, especially during dry periods.

If you plan to grow your hebes in pots, the same planting process applies. However, it is important to choose a compact variety that is suitable for container gardening. These smaller hebes will thrive in confined spaces and can add beauty to your patio or balcony.

Overall, planting hebes in shade requires attention to proper planting techniques and providing the right conditions for their growth. By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of shade-loving hebes in your garden.

Pruning and Propagating Shade-Loving Hebes

Shade-loving hebes require minimal care, but occasional pruning and propagating can promote their health and vitality. To ensure robust growth and a well-maintained shape, it is advisable to prune hebes in late summer, after flowering. Additionally, deadheading spent blooms will help to keep the hebes looking tidy and attractive.

pruning hebes in shade

For propagating shade-loving hebes, the best method is through summer cuttings. Take non-flowering shoots of the hebe plant and place them in a pot filled with moist, gritty, peat-free compost. Cover the cuttings with a clear plastic bag or place them in a propagator to maintain proper moisture levels. Once the cuttings display signs of growth, such as well-established roots and new shoots, they can be potted up in spring.

Pruning and propagating shade-loving hebes are essential gardening techniques for maintaining healthy and thriving plants in shaded areas. By following these simple care tips, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of shade-tolerant hebes in your garden.

Shade-Loving Plants for Shady Gardens

While hebes are excellent shade-tolerant plants, there are also other options for shady gardens. According to the third source, some popular shade-loving plants include hostas, ferns, bergenia, Japanese maples, Japanese laurels, bamboo, lily of the valley, camellias, flowering quince, Japanese aralia, Tasmanian tree fern, mahonia, spindle tree, rhododendrons, pieris, hardy geraniums, snowdrops, alchemilla mollis, Japanese anemones, skimmia, rose of Sharon, Ajuga reptans, tiarella, viburnum, New Zealand flax, European wild ginger, hydrangea, and more. These shade-loving plants offer a variety of foliage colors, sizes, and flowering times. They can all thrive in shady gardens and provide beauty and interest to any landscape.

Buying and Choosing Shade-Tolerant Hebes

When it comes to buying and selecting shade-tolerant hebes, there are a few key factors to consider. These include the height, spread, and hardiness of the plant. Compact varieties are ideal for growing in pots, while larger cultivars can be used as impressive back-of-border plants. It’s also essential to assess the hardiness of the hebe, as some varieties may be more vulnerable to frost than others.

Another crucial aspect to evaluate is the color of the foliage. You’ll want to ensure that the hebe’s foliage complements the overall planting scheme of your garden. Whether you’re looking for vibrant greens or variegated leaves, choosing the right color will enhance the visual appeal of your shaded area.

When purchasing hebes, it’s vital to check the health and condition of the plants. Inspect them carefully, looking for any visible signs of pests or diseases. Healthy hebes should have robust foliage and exhibit no blemishes or damage.

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, there are reputable online nurseries where you can buy hebes for shade-tolerant gardens. Some noteworthy options include Thompson & Morgan, Gardening Express, and Van Meuwen. These nurseries offer a wide variety of hebes, ensuring you’ll find the perfect shade-tolerant cultivars for your garden.

Tips for Buying Hebes in Shade:

  • Consider the height, spread, and hardiness of the hebes you’re interested in.
  • Choose compact varieties for pots and larger cultivars for back-of-border plants.
  • Check the color of the foliage and ensure it complements your garden’s overall theme.
  • Inspect the health and condition of the plants, looking for signs of pests or diseases.
  • Explore reputable online nurseries, such as Thompson & Morgan, Gardening Express, and Van Meuwen.

Buying Hebes for Shade

Buying and choosing shade-tolerant hebes requires careful consideration of their characteristics and overall quality. By taking these factors into account, you can confidently select the perfect hebes for your shade garden, creating a vibrant and thriving landscape in low light conditions.


In conclusion, it is clear that while many hebes are well-known for their ability to thrive in full sun, there are also several shade-tolerant hebes that can bring beauty and interest to shady gardens. By providing the appropriate care and attention, these shade-loving hebes can flourish and add color and texture to areas with low light conditions.

Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’, Sweet Woodruff, Purple Pixie, Pulmonaria, Cornus, Actea, Lamiums, Carex, and Heucheras are just a few examples of shade-tolerant hebes that gardeners can consider. It is important to note that these hebes have specific growing requirements and may require additional care in terms of watering, pruning, and propagation. However, with the right techniques and suitable planting spots, they can thrive and create a thriving and beautiful landscape in shaded areas.

If you have a shaded garden, I encourage you to explore the world of shade-loving hebes. These versatile plants can provide a wonderful alternative to traditional shade-loving plants, offering a range of colors, textures, and sizes. With their ability to adapt to low light conditions, shade-tolerant hebes can be a valuable addition to any garden, adding depth and interest to areas that may have previously been overlooked.

So, don’t hesitate to incorporate shade-tolerant hebes into your garden and experience the beauty and diversity they can bring to your outdoor space. With careful selection and proper care, these plants can thrive in shade and create a captivating garden that will be enjoyed throughout the seasons.

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