Common Privet

Ligustrum Vulgare

This Privet is a very versatile plant. It has been used to make walls, tall barriers, sound barriers, you can let it grow to 15 ft. or trim it any way you want, make arches, low to the ground fences, make it thick, thin and anything in between.

The privet I market is the European Privet Ligustrum Vulgare It is very thick, much thicker than the California Privet, the leaves are much darker and heavier, and grows faster than the California Privet. This year I had the opportunity to go to New York State, Specifically South Hampton. I was curious to see their privets.

The "Hamptons" are famous is their privets. Everybody who is anybody in the Hamptons has privets and some of them are meticulously manicured while others go completely ignored most likely on purpose, probably to show a contrast. The privet they use is the same I have been marketing all the time, the humble Ligustrum Vulgare Ligustrum Ovalifolium is invasive. I have had it for at least 20 years and it has not moved from where I planted it. I will take their word for it. I even have a plant that was planted 6 years ago and never touched. It has not made any attemps to be invasive. It will keep the leaves over the winter in zone 6 and South. Here in PA where I am, Zone 5/6, it keeps the leaves most winters if the temperature does not go below 10 degrees. If it does, the leaves turn black and hang on for the longest time, sometimes until Spring. Seldom my plants drop all their leaves. pH requirement for this bush is between 6 and 7.5

. Plants need very little maintenance other than trimming. Once they are established it is very hard to kill them. Even if you cut them down to the ground, they will bounce right back up.

This privet, as well as any other privets, is toxic to animals. That Privet fence for the horses, you were thinking about... forget it! But don't forget the deer, I just got word from a customer who purchased 32 bushes. The deer ate every one of them. Toxic or not, they will eat them!

These are the privets I use to take cuttings. In February the bushes are cut down to the ground. These bushes and the ones above are the same. The difference is in how you allow them to grow and how you trim them.

Picture taken on May 14. You can see the shoots already about 4 inches long.
By September, 4 months later, they are over 7 ft. tall.

I have been asked when you can plant privets. You can plant any time. They are live bushes and are used to the outside temperatures, you can plant them just about any time of the year.

Exceptions: I don't sell privets during the winter because I move them to the greenhouse. With the heavy rains we get in September the bushes get water logged and develop black spot, a disease that can be dealt with but if left untreated forces me to cut off part of the bushes.

I start spraying privets for black spot in september. Your bushes may have a white film on them, nothing to worry about, next rain will wash it out. Once in the ground the bushes do not develop black spot. If the plants you get have black spot, they will completely recover from it.

To buy please go to the trees page

Another option

There is another tree that can be made into a hedge. I refer to the Salix Miabeana Seemen. Grows faster to 20 ft. in 3 years. A very new idea but I think it can make beautiful barriers. You can see it as a PDF file here.. If after looking at that description you wold like to try that willow, I have them at the tree page.


Common Privet grows slowly on the first year, about 24" but they grow up to 7 ft. per year when adults. Plant them about 18 inches apart for a full solid wall. This privet will grow about 15 feet tall, 4 ft. wide if you leave it alone. It can be trimmed any way you want but the more you trim it, the thicker it gets. I have never killed any of these and I trim them any time of the year.

Cuttings are available only from December to June.

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