- Deer Resistant
- Disease Resistant
- Evergreen Shrubs
- Low Maintenance
- Privacy Hedges
- Salt Tolerant
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Grows in Zones
What are Ligustrum?
Ligustrum are lovely evergreen shrubs that are easy to grow and fast growing! Enjoy petite fragrant white flowers in late spring or summer. These shrubs are also known as privets. These tough plants are pest, deer, and disease resistant and pollution, heat, and drought tolerant. They make excellent privacy hedges.
When to Prune Ligustrum
You can prune privet anytime of the year, but avoid pruning in late fall in zone 7 and even 8a. Pruning stimulates new growth that is sensitive to damage from freezing temperatures. The damaged leaves generally just self prune though and it doesn’t affect the overall health of the bush. If you want to perform severe rejuvenation pruning do this in late winter or early spring.
How to Prune Ligustrum
These tough shrubs do not require pruning, but can tolerate very heavy pruning. In general pruning with electric hedge trimmers is the most efficient way to shear these bushes especially if you are creating a ligustrum hedge. Use pruning shears or loppers (shears for smaller branches and loppers for larger branches) to cut back at damaged, dead, or crossed branches as well as suckers coming from the base of the plant. You can perform rejuvenation pruning on old and overgrown Ligustrum shrubs by pruning the entire plant back to about 6 to 12 inches from the ground.
How to Prune or Train Ligustrum into a Tree?
You can start training your Ligustrum plant into a tree form at any age, but by doing it at a younger age it will be less stress on the tree and less work for you! Start by choosing 1 to 3 or the most vigorous branches to be your trunk(s). Prune all other branches away. Wait until the following year to perform anymore cuts. As your Ligustrum tree grows remove any lateral branches that are less than 4 feet from the ground to shape your canopy.
How Fast Do Ligustrum Grow?
These bushes are very fast growing. Japanese Ligustrum can easily grow over 2 feet per year with no care. Even smaller varieties like the Sunshine Ligustrum can put on a foot in height in a single year. You definitely won’t be disappointed with the fast growth rate of Privet bushes.
When Do Ligustrum Bloom?
Sunshine Ligustrum is a sterile variety that does not produce flowers. Wavy Leaf Privet blooms in spring, generally starting in May, but other Japanese Privet like Curly Leaf and Howardi flower in summer.
How to Plant Ligustrum
When planting Ligustrum bushes, start by digging a hole at least twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Place your shrub in the hole. Be sure the top of the root ball is slightly higher than your existing soil line and backfill with the soil you removed. Water deeply at the base of your plant until the water begins to pool. Mulch new plants to help the soil retain moisture, reduce weeds, and protect the roots.
How Far Apart Should You Plant Ligustrum?
Plant Howardi and Wavy Leaf Privet about 4-5 feet apart for a privacy hedge and 7-8 feet apart for showcasing individual plants. Plant dwarf Ligustrum, Curly Leaf Privet, 3 feet apart for privacy. If you want to make a low privet hedge with Sunshine Ligustrum, plant about 3 feet apart.
Ligustrum japonicum 'Rotundifolium'
5-6 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide
Growing Zones 7-10
Curly Leaf has dark green, thick, shiny, curved leaves that are almost reminiscent of a jade plant and perfect for an Asian inspired garden. This compact privet tends toward a narrow, upright shape rather than a bush. And with a width of 3-4 feet and a height of 5-6 feet at maturity this plant fits in anywhere.
Ligustrum japonicum 'Howardi'
8 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide
Growing Zones 7-10
The Howardi Privet stands out with a luscious lemon and lime variegation that cannot be beat! New growth emerges a lovely, lemon yellow and as the leaves age the color gradually deepens into a lavish lime. The leaves are thick, shiny, and smooth, not prickly like those of a holly. This stellar shrub is dense and lush. No peeking through this shrub! It is perfect for privacy.
Ligustrum japonica 'Recurvifolium'
10 feet tall and 6 feet wide
Growing Zones 7-10
Also known as a Recurve Privet, this tough shrub is an excellent choice for a privacy screen. Similar to a Wax Leaf Ligustrum, but with unique wavy leaves this fast growing ligustrum is our top pick. If you are looking for an inexpensive, natural privacy fence, the Wavy Leaf Privet is the perfect choice! This shiny shrub tolerates heavy pruning if you want to keep it at a certain height or width.
Ligustrum sinense 'Sunshine' PP20379
Growing Zones 6-10
3-6 feet tall and 3-4 wide
This bright yellow shrub is perfect for adding vibrant year-round color to a boring green landscape. This privet cultivar is sterile and non-invasive so you won’t have to worry about it seeding itself in the landscape. Sunshine Privet is cold hardy and can grow into a USDA zone 6.