Glossy Hebe Hebe vernicosa

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


The plant known as Hebe vernicosa displays a dense, bushy habit with glossy, evergreen foliage. The leaves are small, rounded, and arranged in opposing pairs along the stems. They have a thick, leathery texture and a deep green color that can give the plant a vibrant look throughout the year. This plant produces small flowers that usually bloom in clusters. These blossoms can be white or pale lilac in color, adding a subtle touch of elegance to the rich green backdrop of the leaves. The flowers are favored by pollinators and can give the plant a delicate, ornamental appeal. The overall appearance of Hebe vernicosa is neat and compact, making it a popular choice for gardeners who want to add a touch of lush, green contrast to their planting schemes without extensive maintenance.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Glossy Hebe

    • Common names

      Hebe vernicosa

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Glossy hebe, or Hebe vernicosa, is not known to be toxic to humans. There is little information indicating that this plant poses any significant risk if ingested. However, as with any plant, individual allergic reactions or sensitivities can occur, so it is generally advisable to avoid eating ornamental plants.

    • To pets

      Glossy hebe is also not widely recognized as toxic to pets. There is limited data on the plant's effects if ingested by animals, but no significant toxicity has been reported. Nevertheless, it is always prudent to monitor pets and prevent them from eating plants not intended for consumption, as gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions could occur in sensitive individuals.

  • 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

    • Ornamental Appeal: Hebe vernicosa, commonly known as Varnished Hebe, has glossy green leaves and delicate flowers that add aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Varnished Hebe can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers of Hebe vernicosa attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, supporting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Varnished Hebe requires minimal care, with little need for pruning or special treatments, which is great for gardeners seeking low-effort plants.
    • Coastal Suitability: This plant is salt-tolerant and can thrive in coastal environments where other plants might struggle.
    • Year-Round Interest: With its evergreen foliage, Varnished Hebe provides visual interest throughout the year, even when not in bloom.
    • Compact Growth: Its compact and dense growth habit makes it an excellent choice for borders, rockeries, or as ground cover.
    • Fast-Growing: Hebe vernicosa grows relatively quickly compared to some other shrubs, quickly filling in spaces within the landscape.
    • Versatility: This plant can be used in various garden styles, including formal arrangements, cottage gardens, and contemporary designs.

  • 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 vernicosa, commonly known as Glossy Hebe, can be used in crafting miniature and fairy gardens due to its small, dense foliage providing a lush, green backdrop.
    • The dense growth habit of Glossy Hebe makes it ideal for creating low, informal hedges or borders in garden landscaping.
    • The plant is relatively resistant to salt spray, allowing it to be used in coastal planting schemes for gardens near the ocean.
    • Glossy Hebe leaves can sometimes be used in floral arrangements or as filler in bouquets due to its evergreen nature and glossy appearance.
    • It's suitable for container gardening, adding evergreen structure to balconies or patios throughout the year.
    • Glossy Hebe can also serve as a host plant for some native butterfly larvae providing an environmental benefit.
    • Its sturdy nature allows it to be used in erosion control on slopes or banks as it can help stabilize the soil with its root system.
    • The dense foliage provides shelter and nesting sites for small birds, making it a friendly choice for wildlife gardens.
    • It can be utilized in topiary art due to its dense growth and ability to tolerate pruning into various shapes.
    • Glossy Hebe's ability to grow in a variety of soil types makes it a useful plant for reclaiming and rehabilitating disturbed lands.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Hebe plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Hebe plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Youthfulness: The name Hebe itself is derived from the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe, who served ambrosia to the gods to give them everlasting youth. As such, the flower represents the quality of being young or feeling young at heart.
    • Eternal Life: Since the goddess Hebe was associated with the eternal youth of the gods, her namesake plant has come to represent immortality and the idea of living forever.
    • Rejuvenation: Hebe plants can bounce back and look fresh after being cut back, symbolizing the ability to recover from setbacks or to rejuvenate one’s self.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The glossy hebe thrives with consistent moisture, but it's important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Generally, watering once every week with about 1 gallon of water per plant is sufficient. During hot or dry spells, increase watering frequency to maintain hydration but be cautious to not overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Throughout the winter months, you can reduce watering as the plant's growth slows, providing half a gallon every other week if the plant is kept outdoors, and even less if it's indoors where it's warmer.

  • sunLight

    Glossy hebe prefers a spot that offers full to partial sunlight for optimal growth. Aim to give the plant around 6 hours of direct sunlight a day for the best foliage and flowering results. However, in very hot climates, provide some afternoon shade to protect the plant from intense, scorching sun which can damage the leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Glossy hebe is relatively hardy but prefers temperate conditions. It can tolerate a temperature range from about 30 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for optimal growth, aim to maintain an environment where temperatures are a steady 50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It's important to protect the glossy hebe from frost and plunging temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit by bringing potted plants indoors or providing some form of frost protection outdoors.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning glossy hebe is essential for maintaining shape and promoting bushier growth. It's best to prune these shrubs in the spring, immediately after flowering, to encourage new growth. Lightly trim back the plant to shape it, and remove any dead or damaged branches to improve its overall health. Pruning is generally done once a year, but if the plant becomes leggy or overgrown, a second light pruning may be necessary in late summer or early fall.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Glossy Hebe thrives in well-draining, compost-rich soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.5. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite or sand is ideal.

  • plantRepotting

    Glossy Hebes should be repotted every 2 to 3 years, ideally during spring, to refresh the soil and provide room for growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Glossy Hebe prefers moderate humidity conditions, but it is fairly adaptable and can tolerate the humidity levels found in most homes.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Glossy Hebe in bright, indirect light and avoid overwatering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Glossy Hebe in full sun to partial shade and shelter from harsh winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hebe vernicosa, commonly known as Glossy Hebe, embarks on its life cycle with the germination of seeds that are sown in well-drained soil during spring or autumn; a warm temperature and ample light facilitate sprouting. Following germination, the seedlings undergo a period of vegetative growth characterized by the development of a small, evergreen shrub with glossy, dark-green leaves. As it matures, Glossy Hebe enters the flowering stage, usually in early summer, producing white or pale blue flowers that attract pollinators and enable sexual reproduction. After pollination, the flowers develop into capsules containing multiple small seeds, which, when mature, are dispersed by wind or possibly by animals, thus completing the reproductive phase. Those seeds that land in favorable conditions may then germinate, initiating a new cycle. Throughout its life, Hebe vernicosa experiences seasonal growth spurts and may require pruning to maintain shape and encourage new growth.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Hebe vernicosa, commonly known as Hebe, is through semi-hardwood cuttings. This technique is typically carried out in the late summer to early fall. Cuttings should be about 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) long with several leaf nodes, and the lower leaves should be removed. The base of the cutting is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development before it's placed in a potting mix. A well-draining soil mixture is important to prevent rot. The cutting should be kept moist and in a warm environment with indirect light until roots have established, which generally takes a few weeks.