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The shrub veronica is an interesting garden plant that offers many possibilities. On the one hand there are varieties that flower blue, purple, white or pink and on the other hand there are some types that have no or inconspicuous flowers and are suitable as green plants. They shine particularly with their leaf decoration. A recurring question is how hardy the individual varieties are. This guide provides information on which species need winter protection and which prefer to overwinter indoors.
This plant originated in New Zealand. Therefore, it also seems clear that the wild form does not need winter protection. Hebe belongs to the plantain family and is an evergreen shrub. Depending on the variety, it can reach a height of between 30 and 120 cm. The flowers appear in different colors from May to October. In our gardens, the shrub veronica is mainly suitable as a balcony or container plant because of its lack of winter hardiness.
No Hebe is truly hardy in the sense that it would tolerate several sub-zero temperatures and be unprotected in the garden all winter. While some species do not tolerate cold at all and are therefore only suitable as container plants that should be placed in winter, there are also some shrub veronicas that can survive in the garden with winter protection. In order to guarantee new growth, however, the plant should be protected carefully. It is particularly important that the roots cannot freeze. As long as these are intact, a plant that has frozen above ground can sprout again. It is true that small-leaved shrub veronica tolerate frost better than the varieties with large leaves.
Measures for conditionally hardy Veronika
In order to increase the resistance of the plants, they should no longer be fertilized in autumn. The pots of tub plants are then wrapped in fleece, placed in a sheltered place near the building and the root area is covered with spruce brushwood. Veronika, which grow directly in the garden, need particularly good protection against frost. This should be considered when choosing the location and a place should be chosen where the frost is not too deep. The root area is earthed up a little in autumn and then generously covered with cut branches of spruce or fir. Foliage can also protect against frost.
tip: However, the safest method, even for garden plants, is to dig them up, plant them in large pots and overwinter indoors.
Hibernation of non-hardy species
The plants are placed in late autumn, but definitely before the first night frosts. The location in the house should be bright but cool. The temperatures should be between 5 °C and 10 °C. If the leaves turn yellow after a while, the plant is too dark and should get a lighter place. However, the shrub veronica does not have to be in direct sunlight, as this could heat it up too much. In the winter quarters, it is only poured sparingly without the plant drying out. In addition, Hebe requires regular inspection for pests. Spider mites like to settle on overwintering garden plants if they are too dry and without fresh air.
If no or hardly any night frosts are to be expected, you can start getting the Hebe used to being outdoors again. During the day you should put them in a shady, sheltered place, but put them back in when there is a risk of night frost. After a few days or weeks you can return the plant to its original place in the garden. If the Veronika is infested with spider mites, it helps to remove the respective shoots. Outdoors, the problem quickly resolves itself due to the increased humidity and beneficial insects.
The following applies to species that overwinter in the bed:
- remove winter protection after the last night frosts
- Encourage light entry and soil warming as early as possible
- remove frostbitten shoots to avoid disease
Small-growing heaves that are conditionally hardy
Hebe addenda grows to a height of 20 to 30 cm, has pink or pink flowers from August to October and is well suited for containers. The shrub veronica "Green Globe" is particularly popular. Although it has no flowers, it tolerates pruning very well and can therefore be easily cut into shape. It grows up to 50 cm high. The ochracea variety, which grows to a height of 40 cm and has blue or purple flowers, is also suitable for beds or tubs. Flowering time is from July to September.
Larger conditionally hardy shrub veronica
The variety armstrongii, which is suitable for the balcony or terrace, grows up to 100 cm high. It blooms rather inconspicuously from May to June and is easy to plant in tubs or larger pots. One of the largest varieties is salicifolia, which grows up to 120 cm high. It has purple or white flowers, is well suited for planting in a container or border and flowers from June to August. The speciosa variety also grows up to 120 cm high. It flowers in blue or purple from July to September.Veronica teucrium is also a hardy variety
Not hardy varieties
The andersonii variety has beautiful violet flowers, grows to a height of 60 cm and has large leaves. This shrub veronica flowers from August to September. The flowers of Hebe pimeleoides var. Glaucocaerulia are purple in color and appear from July to August. The plant, which is well suited for the balcony, grows to a height of 30 cm.