Sunset zones: 5, 6, 15-17, 20-24. (See notes below.)
USDA zones: 7-10.
Height: 1 — 4 feet tall (.30-1.21 m).
Width: 3 feet wide (1 m).
Late spring to early summer and if cut back, will flower again in late summer to fall.
Racemes of lavender-blue, saucer-shaped flowers.
Pairs of ovate, glaucous, gray-green or blue leaves.
Poor to fertile, well-drained soil.
Side dress with compost or manure in fall. Fertilize in spring with a complete organic fertilizer.
Sow seed in pots and place in cold frame as soon as ripe. | Take semi-ripe cuttings from early to midsummer.
After flowers fade, trim plant to shape and deadhead spent flowers.
Pests and Diseases:
Slugs may be a problem for young plants.
Rainy Side Notes
Parahebe perfoliata is really a subshrub that we grow like a perennial. Unfortunately, it is not hardy in all areas of the Pacific Northwest. Although Sunset zone ratings don't include zone 4 in the parahebe listing, it appears to be hardier than they thought. I think it's worth growing even in the colder areas of our region. During a colder winter, if the plant dies down to the roots, it most likely will resprout again. In my garden (Sunset zone 5), it is perfectly hardy, remains evergreen, and grows with much gusto. It is paired with the clear orange flowering perennial--Trollius chinensis--making a nice contrast next to the lavender blue parahebe.
Once established this Australian native is drought tolerant, a bonus during our extended summer dry spell. The silver-green to blue leaves add another color dimension to the garden year round. For a Mediterranean style garden, this is a perfect choice.
I prune them after they finish flowering in spring and they bloom again in late summer. When they are not pruned, they do not rebloom later in the season.
Chosen as a Great Plant Pick for the Pacific Northwest and I would agree, it's a perfect choice for our maritime gardens.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.