Rakai Hebe Hebe rakaiensis

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Rakai hebe


Hebe rakaiensis, commonly known as Rakai hebe, is an evergreen shrub with a compact, rounded growth habit that makes it a popular choice for gardeners. The plant is noted for its dense foliage, composed of small, glossy, green leaves that are lance-shaped and tightly arranged along its branches, creating a lush appearance. During the blooming season, the Rakai hebe showcases short spikes of pure white flowers, each cluster consisting of numerous small, tubular blooms that add a delicate and attractive touch to the plant's overall look. These flowers stand out against the dark green of the leaves, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden. The overall aspect of the Rakai hebe is of a tidy and well-structured plant that contributes to the aesthetic of a neat and well-maintained garden space.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Rakai Hebe, Boxwood Hebe

    • Common names

      Hebe rakaiensis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Rakai Hebe is not widely known for its toxicity to humans, and there are no well-documented cases or specific symptoms associated with poisoning from this plant. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or reactions could occur, and it's generally advisable not to ingest plant parts without confirming their safety.

    • To pets

      Similarly, the Rakai Hebe is not commonly recognized as a toxic plant to pets. There is limited information on its potential toxicity, but there are no significant reports of poisoning in pets from this plant. Vigilance is still advised, as pets may have adverse reactions to plants that are not typically harmful to humans.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      New Zealand


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Low Maintenance: Hebe rakaiensis, commonly known as Rakai hebe, is a hardy plant that requires minimal upkeep once established, making it an ideal choice for gardeners seeking low-maintenance options.
    • Attracts Wildlife: The flowers of Rakai hebe are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, helping to support local ecosystems.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its compact form, evergreen foliage, and white blooms, Rakai hebe adds year-round visual interest to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, Rakai hebe can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for gardens in drier climates or for water-conservation landscaping practices.
    • Versatility in Landscaping: Due to its compact size, Rakai hebe can be used in various landscaping designs, including borders, rock gardens, and as ground cover.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hebe 'Rakaiensis' foliage can be used in floral arrangements as a filler due to its dense, glossy green leaves that provide a lush backdrop to more colorful flowers.
    • The plant can act as a low natural hedge or border in gardens when planted in succession, given its compact and bushy growth habit.
    • Often utilized in topiary gardens, Hebe 'Rakaiensis' can be trimmed and shaped into various formal designs, due to its dense growth.
    • Its resilience to windy conditions makes it a suitable plant for coastal gardens, helping to stabilize soil and provide a green aesthetic.
    • Hebe 'Rakaiensis' is popular in butterfly gardens as it can attract butterflies and other beneficial insects when in bloom.
    • This plant can be used in rock gardens due to its ability to thrive in well-drained soils and its compact size.
    • Some gardeners use Hebe 'Rakaiensis' for bonsai because of its small leaves and interesting branch structure, which can be manipulated into artistic shapes.
    • It can serve as ground cover in large garden areas, where its evergreen foliage provides year-round color and texture.
    • Because of its resistance to deer, Hebe 'Rakaiensis' is a good choice for gardens in areas where deer browsing can be a problem.
    • The plant's hardiness makes it suitable for urban planting in street medians and public spaces where maintenance is minimal.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Hebe is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Hebe is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Youth - Hebe is the name of the Greek goddess of youth, which lends symbolic meaning connected to the vigor and freshness of young life to this plant.
    • Rejuvenation - Due to its evergreen nature and association with the goddess Hebe, Hebe rakaiensis symbolizes renewal and the restoration of vitality.
    • Unity - Its dense, compact growth habit can symbolize coming together and unity, reflecting the close-knit form of its foliage.
    • Eternal Love - The long-lasting nature of its blooms can represent enduring affection and lasting relationships.
    • Beauty - The plant's attractive foliage and delicate flowers can symbolize aesthetic beauty and grace.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The shrubby Veronica, commonly known as Hebe rakaiensis, requires moderate watering. During the growing season in spring and summer, water the plant thoroughly once the top inch of soil feels dry, approximately once a week, providing about 1 gallon of water each time depending on the size and maturity of the plant. In the cooler months of fall and winter, reduce watering frequency to every other week, ensuring the soil does not remain soggy to prevent root rot. Always check the soil moisture before watering to avoid overwatering, as Hebe rakaiensis is drought-tolerant once established.

  • sunLight

    Hebe rakaiensis, also known as the shrubby Veronica, thrives in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, it should be placed in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. Morning sun with afternoon shade is beneficial, especially in hotter climates, to prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The shrubby Veronica prefers cool to moderate temperatures and can typically withstand a range from 30 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants can survive light frosts, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below freezing may damage or kill the plant. The ideal temperature range for healthy growth is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the shrubby Veronica to maintain its shape and encourage bushy growth. Early spring or after the plant has finished flowering is the best time for pruning. Remove dead or damaged stems and trim back about a third of the older growth to promote new shoots. Pruning should be done annually or as necessary to keep the plant looking tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Shamrock hebe thrives best in a well-draining soil mix with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. An ideal soil mix can be prepared using equal parts of garden loam, peat moss, and sharp sand to ensure good drainage and aeration. Regular testing and amending of soil might be necessary to maintain the optimal pH level for the plant.

  • plantRepotting

    Shamrock hebes do not require frequent repotting and can typically be repotted every 2-3 years or when rootbound. Younger plants may grow more rapidly and can benefit from annual repotting to encourage growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Shamrock hebe prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and can tolerate the wide range of humidity levels typically found in outdoor garden settings. It does not require special humidity conditions when grown outside.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and avoid overwatering Shamrock hebe.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to part shade and well-draining soil for Shamrock hebe.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hebe rakaiensis, commonly known as Rakai Hebe, begins its life cycle when seeds germinate in suitable conditions, typically in well-drained soil with partial to full sunlight. The seedlings establish themselves with a small rosette of leaves close to the ground. As the plant matures, it grows into a compact, evergreen shrub, developing woody stems and a dense array of leaves. During the summer months, it produces white flowers that are attractive to pollinators, completing the pollination stage. After pollination, the flowers develop into small, dry capsules containing seeds, which are eventually dispersed to give rise to new plants. Throughout its life, Rakai Hebe may undergo pruning or natural dieback, followed by regrowth, ensuring its longevity and health.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Hebe rakaiensis, commonly known as Shrubby veronica, is most effectively propagated during the warmer growing seasons, preferably in late spring or early summer. The most popular method of propagation for this plant is by semi-ripe cuttings. For successful propagation, one should take cuttings of about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length from the current year's growth, ensuring each cutting has at least one node. Leaves at the lower end of the cutting should be removed, and the cut end dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root growth. The prepared cuttings should then be inserted in a pot filled with a mix of peat and perlite or a similar well-draining rooting medium. It's essential to maintain high humidity around the cuttings, which can be achieved by covering the pot with a plastic bag or placing it in a propagator. The cuttings generally root in several weeks, after which they can be gradually acclimatized to ambient conditions and then potted on as individual plants.