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Plant Profile

Hebe salicifolia (Koromiko) is a versatile and attractive shrub native to New Zealand. With its long, narrow leaves and delicate spikes of white flowers, this plant is a great choice for any garden, and is especially well-suited to our unique climate and conditions. It is a vigorous shrub that typically reaches a width of 2 to 3 meters and up to 4m tall, making it the largest of the Hebe genus. Its long, narrow leaves are a bright, fresh green, and are up to 15 cm in length. The leaves tend to look like a willow tree, hence it also gets the name NZ Willow.

It is great for low shelter or reveg, commonly used on farms. Prefers moist soil, and like all Hebes responds well to trimming after flowering. It can be found as high as 2800m in NZ, which is considered the highest place for a flowering plant in NZ. If you’re ever in Queenstown and take the Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station, they have some beautiful specimens there. It is thought to be one of the first New Zealand Hebe species to be described by the English during Captain Cook's second voyage in 1773, but had been used by the Māori for medicinal purposes for centuries before the English discovered it.



Hebe salicifolia is a relatively low-maintenance plant, but to keep it looking tidy it is best to trim it once a year to prevent the stems becoming woody. A good layer of mulch around the base will help to keep the soil moist, prevent weeds, and provide some nitrogen.


Birds and Bees

In the summer, the plant produces spikes of delicate, purple-blue flowers that are very attractive to bees and other pollinators. These flowers are followed by small, juicy berries that are also enjoyed by birds.



This plant is very drought-tolerant, and does not require frequent watering once established. However while it is still young it is best to keep water onto it every couple of days in dry weather.



Hebe salicifolia is not a heavy feeder, and will do well with a light application of organic fertilizer once or twice a year.




This plant is hardy and can withstand frost, but it is a good idea to mulch around the base of the plant to keep the roots warm.



Hebe salicifolia is a vigorous plant, but does not require frequent pruning. It is best to trim it back in the early spring, before new growth begins. This will prevent the stems from becoming woody.



Hebe salicifolia can be propagated from cuttings or seed. Cuttings can be taken in the spring or summer and rooted in a well-draining soil mix. Seed is the fastest method however, and if large numbers are required for a revegetation project will be the most economical.



Disease isn’t normally a problem with Koromiko, but it can develop powdery mildew. The best way to prevent this on Hebes is to make sure they have good airflow.



This plant is generally pest-resistant, however it may be susceptible to aphids. These can be controlled using a spray from a garden centre, or talk to us about using parasitic wasps.



Hebe salicifolia is native to the coastal regions of New Zealand, and is typically found growing in open, sunny areas. It is also commonly used as a garden plant in coastal towns and cities. This plant is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways in the garden. It is great as a specimen plant, or in a mixed border with other shrubs and perennials. It is also a good choice for a low hedge or screen.


Plants to pair with

Hebe salicifolia pairs well with other native plants, such as Griselinia, Coprosma and Pittosporum – anything tall enough to stand above it in a mixed native planting. It isn’t a good idea to plant smaller plants close to salicifolia as they will likely take over and cover them.



If you are looking for a similar plant to Hebe salicifolia, you may want to consider Hebe stricta, which has similar growth habits and flower spikes. You could also consider Hebe speciosa varieties such as Wiri Price. They also have long leaves and flower spikes, although sometimes different colours.


Click here to view our YouTube review of this plant!

Hebe salicifolia

    • Mature size: 3m wide x 4m tall
    • Evergreen: Yes
    • Flower colour: White
    • Temperature: Hardy
    • Light: Full sun/part shade
    • Moisture: Moist/well drained
    • Wind tolerance: Hardy


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