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Hoheria Growing Guide

Characteristics

There are five species of hoheria which all originate from New Zealand. Some are deciduous (H. glabrata, H. lyallii) but all the other species and their cultivars and hybrids are evergreen (H. angustifolia, H. populnea, H. sexstylosa).

They grow in the wild in forests or on forest edges and alongside streams.

All have white flowers in clusters which hang down from the branches of these large shrubs or small trees.

What makes hoheria so popular in gardens is that they flower profusely in July and August when very few other woody trees and shrubs are flowering apart from eucryphia which they complement. Butterflies relish hoheria flowers.

In addition they all have a graceful pendulous habit which allows them to display their scented flowers to full effect. In the West Country they are a key feature of many town and village gardens as autumn approaches.

Hoheria  glabrata click for larger image
Hoheria glabrata
Hoheria  glabrata click for larger image
Hoheria glabrata
Hoheria  glabrata click for larger image
Hoheria glabrata
Hoheria  glabrata click for larger image
Hoheria glabrata

Hardiness

Hoheria are generally regarded as frost hardy. The exception is Hoheria populnea and its attractive cultivars with variegated white and yellow leaves, which, as they grow at low altitudes in the North Island of New Zealand, are more tender. They can be defoliated in cold winters but will usually recover in milder counties albeit with some dieback. It is sensible to prune them back hard if this occurs to encourage lush new regrowth. This applies also to other hoheria species which get damaged in a hard winter. They are however very resilient plants.

Location

Hoherias do not require especially fertile soil and will grow well in neutral to alkaline soils which are well drained. They like damper coastal locations.

They do however require good wind protection to preserve their evergreen leaves from wind damage. A good mulch around the roots is sensible but not essential.

If your garden is exposed to wind consider growing them against a sunny wall which faces south.

Pruning is unnecessary unless there is damage after a cold winter.


Propagation

Seeds may be sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Semi ripe cuttings can be successfully rooted in the mist bench.

In some coastal area hoheria will self sow themselves profusely on any bare ground surrounding the plant.

Immature seedlings have juvenile leaves which are often much larger than those of the mature tree.


Our best selection of hoherias for a UK garden

Hoheria sextylosa – this is the commonest hoheria in UK gardens. Fast growing, often pendulous in habit, and handsome with innumerable small white flowers in July and August.

Hoheria  sextylosa click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa
Hoheria  sextylosa click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa
Hoheria  sextylosa click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa

Hoheria sextylosa ‘Stardust’ – this is a very floriferous form with an attractive compact and upright habit.

Hoheria  sextylosa 'Stardust'click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa 'Stardust'
Hoheria  sextylosa 'Stardust'click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa 'Stardust'
Hoheria  sextylosa 'Stardust'click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa 'Stardust'

Hoheria ‘Glory of Amlwch’ – bred in Sussex this is a hybrid between H. glabrata and H. sextylosa. It is a hardy free flowering small tree.

Hoheria  sextylosa 'Glory of Amlwch'click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa 'Glory of Amlwch'
Hoheria  sextylosa 'Glory of Amlwch'click for larger image
Hoheria sextylosa 'Glory of Amlwch'

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