Privet | Also Known as Ligustrum | Fast-Growing Evergreen Shrub - PlantingTree

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Privets, also known as Ligustrum are fast growing evergreen shrubs that are easy to grow. Enjoy petite fragrant white flowers in late spring or summer. These tough plants are pest, deer, and disease resistant and pollution, heat, and drought tolerant. They make excellent privacy hedges.

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Drought Tolerance

Fall Color

Grows in Zones

Mature Height

Mature Width

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Soil Type


Sunshine Ligustrum
40 reviews
how to plant privet

How to Plant Privet

When Privet planting, start by digging a hole at least twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Place your plant level in the hole. Be sure the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the soil line and backfill with the soil you removed. Water deeply at the base of the privet bush with a hose until the water begins to pool. Mulch new plants to help the soil retain moisture, reduce weeds, and protect the roots.

How Fast Do Privets Grow?

Privets are fast growing evergreen shrubs. Japanese Privet can easily grow over 2 feet per year with no care. Even smaller types, like the dwarf Sunshine Ligustrum, can put on up to a foot of height in a growing season.

When Do Privets 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. Privet flowers are generally small, white and clustered.

when to prune privet

When to Prune Privet

You can prune Privets 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 and this doesn’t affect the overall health of the plant. Perform severe rejuvenation pruning in late winter or early spring if needed on older, overgrown Privets.

How to Prune Privet

These 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 Privet hedge. Use pruning shears or loppers to cut back damaged, dead, or crossed branches and suckers coming from the base of the plant. You can perform rejuvenation pruning on old and overgrown Privets by pruning the plant back to about 6 to 12 inches from the ground.

How to Prune or Train Privet into a Tree?

You can start training your 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 sturdiest branches to be your trunk(s). Prune all other branches away. Wait until the following year to perform anymore pruning cuts. As your Privet tree grows remove any lateral branches that are less than 4 feet from the ground and shape your canopy if you want to maintain a clean look.

Ligustrum Varieties

curly leaf ligustrum

Curly Leaf Ligustrum

Ligustrum japonicum 'Rotundifolium'
Growing Zones 7-10
Mature Size: 5-6 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide

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.

howardi  ligustrum

Howardi Ligustrum

Ligustrum japonicum 'Howardi'
Growing Zones 7-10
Mature Size: 8 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide

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.

wavy leaf ligustrum

Wavy Leaf Ligustrum

Ligustrum japonica 'Recurvifolium'
Growing Zones 7-10
Mature Size: 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide

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.

sunshine ligustrum

Sunshine Ligustrum

Ligustrum sinense 'Sunshine' PP20379
Growing Zones 6-10
Mature Size: 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.

For additional options, be sure to browse our online plant nursery and Ligustrum collection.

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