Most of the foliage is in the upper 6′ to 12″ area. The truth is that many privets are well-mannered garden subjects, flowering prettily, making great background plants, offering us trouble-free leaf-colors and generally getting on well with everyone else in the garden. We have a lingustrum it is about 6 yrs old, it has never bloomed. A very different beast from boxwood, needing lots of trimming, because they grow so fast. I think I’m going with the one you mentioned above, the ovalifolium. If you live in the north-east, then European privet (Ligustrum vulgare) also called common privet, is the main bad-guy. Being that tall I’m thinking they were Japanese privets. I have, over the last few years, noticed that it seems to die from the top down since I’ve cut what I thought were dead branches off at the bottom only to find the bottom very healthy. "Privet" is the common name of the Ligustrum genus, which contains about 50 species of both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. I saw online in a Proven Winners posting a picture of Ligustrum-Golden Ticket. Elderberries. Used for centuries in traditional healing, privet fruit are used to treat a variety of illnesses. I am so relieved to read that! Growth Rate: The growth rate is very rapid. Japanese privet is weedy in disturbed areas around buildings and has escaped and naturalized in moist areas. I also have deer and concerned that they will be eaten. Left untrimmed privet will flower profusely, while trimmed trees don’t flower much at all. More than just a foliage plant, privet will also flower with white blooms in late spring to early summer. Trimming shortly after flowering also removes the potential for seeding and spreading, so any possibility of becoming a weed is eliminated, while also keeping your plants tidy and attractive. The other issue is this – once a plant is established in the wild, what impact does the garden population have on increasing its spread, compared to the acres and acres of it growing wild? It is ironic that in the back our neighbors’ privets have destroyed the fence and we have two of them now growing in our yard…impossible to get rid of easily. Waxleaf is certainly invasive in some parts of the country, although it seems to be common privet that is a problem in NJ at this time. Many of the Ligustrum varieties have scented white flowers, followed by small blue black berries. Part of the problem is poor identification, and the use of blanket terms like ‘privet’. Regular trimming of a hedge turns it into an outstanding garden feature, and if the variegated Japanese privet is used, you have a hedge that sparkles with color all year round. Do you think my privet is the invasive kind or a different variety? Is it made into an essential oil or anything! Privett Berries contains 5 to 7 stems per bunch, depending on the quantity of berries per stem. The genus contains about 50 species of erect, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes forming small or medium-sized trees, native to Europe, north Africa, Asia, many introduced and naturalised in Australasia, where only one species extends as a native into Queensland. It thrives there, has the most intoxicating fragrance when blooming, and is easily maintained with occasional pruning. Thanks much for any remedy! Thank you! Connie from a Tenn. It produces toxic berries. I am sorry you are having financial problems, but keep safe! I can’t find any info on Korean privet though It says Ligustrum (not Vulgare) on the tag also. In the process he actually cut down three 25 foot privets! All the other hedges in the neighborhood are totally different. . I always loved the way it smelled and scented the entire garden when in bloom. All of my ornamental grasses and flowers survived with no damage but my 50 year old hydrangea looks more than half dead. He had to remove Honey bees from the wall. These berries can be messy but they are contained in the area I planted it and the birds love them. Initially we were thinking on planting Golden Privets but have read that they can flare up allergies for folks. We are on a barrier island in New Jersey.USA This year we had very sparse growth and two look almost dead. All privet are considered deer resistant, but deer are hard to predict, and will eat most anything if they get hungry enough! It does very much resemble a Japanese lilac tree. The Lodense Privet is a form of common privet – Ligustrum vulgare. Good for this area as it is hardy and no pests. Many years ago I lived in England, and there was a case where 5 people (I think that was the number, but several, anyway) died from eating a forage salad. It proved easier for him to remove it by hauling thru our yard. Any suggestions on one that doesn’t have berries? 1 … Use the Chokeberry to replace the overgrown Burning Bushes that are everywhere. People have died that way – really, they have. There is an awesome Privet hedge that runs along the road in front of the house. I have about 3 ft tall shrub that was identified as being a privet. The reality is where I live, there are so many seedlings that pop up everywhere especialy holly seedlings. Thanks. Let’s face it – Privet has a bad reputation. Spacing on planting? We try to take a balanced attitude, and remember that this is a very large country, and plants that are invasive in some areas are not at all in others, depending on climate and ecology. With climate change and housing development I was wondering if there is a chance of them reviving? The bay berry, Myrica pennsylvanica, is a lot hardier, and just as salt resistant, but shorter and probably slower growing too. Thanks for the info. adroll_pix_id = "T5DEBSDHVFG4FA3KSLHHKJ"; Whatever it is, if it has been repeated pruned since the 40s you won’t kill it by cutting it down hard – I would suggest removing the biggest branches right at the bottom, and leaving the thinner branches about 2/3 of the height you actually want this plant to be. should work well, but I might be a bit concerned that you are at the limit for hardiness – you are in the colder part of zone 7. Maybe thats a better solution for my specific scenario. I hope this helps educate and spread knowledge. Obviously invasive privets. Remember that pruning is only needed for many shrubs if there are space issues – and if you have to prune a lot then you probably have ‘wrong plant, wrong place’ syndrome. 🙂. It should have been contained in the jungles of Southeast Asia from where it came…I am in the process of trying to eliminate it from my 483 acre forest…almost IMPOSSIBLE !!! The roots are really tough to dig up. Have you considered one of the narrow junipers, like ‘Skyrocket’ or ‘Blue Arrow’? ‘Howardii’ is a golden form of the Japanese Privet, Ligustrum japonicum. Does the Davidson Hardy check all these boxes? What is the best type of privet to plant for this climate across from the ocean? The zone 4 vulgaris is the only one I can have in our winter (-30 to +30 celcius) As a bonsaist, I use privets as bonsai and love it to be a very good trainer for beginners in the atr. It ignores drought and heat and it is easily trimmed into a hedge anything from 4 to 12 feet tall. like beauty, is in the nose of the smeller – I love the smell of lilies, but to others it is sickly sweet and funereal. My online search for ‘privet’ tonight brought me to your article – it is EXACTLY what I needed! Yes the birds love it and I had traveling cedar waxwings once very grateful on their migration. Thank you Dave for that info and suggestions. Neurotic gardeners can develop a love-hate relationship with their messy fruit trees.Trees with smaller fruits and ornamental specimens are especially problematic as they drop copious amounts of debris and aborted fruit. Will any form of privet be evergreen here? Reading these comments has made me nervous about our recent choice to plant Lodense privets along our west fence as a hedge in Colorado. I’m in south western KY. Last summer, I had the yard crew whack the towering Chinese privet hedge to four feet high, and I now have privets everywhere in my 20×12 ft bed. We just were searching for the ID of a bush in our front yard which the bees adore so we could figure out what to do and found it is a Japanese privet. Maybe just digging is easier – no one said gardening didn’t involve some hard work! Some are evergreen, some deciduous, and they reproduce from seed, vegetative cuttings or stump sprouts. Thank you. The only bad time would be at the height of summer, especially during a drought. By any chance that the flower is also toxic? Is the chinese pivot shrub good shrub for zones 8-9… in northern Arizona? Hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, glossy privet produces fruits in autumn; the clusters of small, black berries attract birds. Depends on the variety and size you want it. My best suggestion is to take a piece in bloom to a local garden center and ask them – they will usually know plants grown locally. Does this type of shrub exist? Who is supposed to pull those all up? THank you. I placed weed barrier cloth in the planted area with wood chips on top which has made it all low maintenance over the last ten years. My other fav btw is the Fatsia japonica (prefers semi shade), kinda reminds me of a papaya tree because of the leaves. Do you suppose that’s why I’ve never seen berries? Along with many other invasive plant species like wisteria and kudzu, it is fast growing and can be very destructive to an entire ecosystem. Would the Howardii ligustrum privet fulfill those qualities? Chinese Privet. Id be ok with the trimming(assuming a quick run with a hedge trimmer on all sides) My main concern is it starting to pop up everywhere. Her reaction was, “CUT IT DOWN”. I would like 10 – 15 feet in height, non invasive, more bushy than tree-like. I trimmed the smaller shoots at the bottom in order to walk under it. I live in Michigan. We have 4 trellised privet growing against our back fence. Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours). Elderberries are the fruit of various species of the Sambucus plant. Glossy Privet is used extensively as a shrub or tree standard. It is way too hardy here in Northern California! Among vertebrate animals, the berries are eaten to a limited extent by such songbirds as the Eastern Bluebird, American Tree Sparrow, and Cedar Waxwing (Martin et al., 1951/1961). the Waxleaf Privet, will this exact variety self seed by birds or wind? I am in El Paso, Texas where various types of privet (I have 6 different varieties) do quite well. These birds spread the seeds to new areas. Even a klutz like me can grow one. But totally gone so I can only go by the height. They worked very well. May be a good option and definitely a tough looking one, however theres something really attractive about that wax leaf that adds a varied texture to the landscape. I’m now wondering if there are meant to be able to keep as bushes and also am now worried about the possibility of seedlings that some people have mentioned. Thanks. Now the blooms are dying but it appears the fullness of the leaves on the bush has diminished significantly. Glossy privet has large clusters of white flowers, followed by many purple-blue berries. Also, some varieties hardly ever bloom, others do it a lot – perhaps you have a ‘non-blooming’ one? The shrub from HELL !!! Sounds like the perfect orientation for a hedge that will be thick on both sides. Zone 7a. Al;so, I made the mistake of planting two 4″ pots of Katie Ruelila 10 years ago in this backyard bed, and the rhizomes have spread 100 feet in all directions no matter how much I tried to dig them up before they escaped! Privet-Ugh, such a nuisance!! Ligustrum sinense Chinese privet is a much shorter tree. Can I cut them out without killing the privet. The variegated from of Chinese privet is much tamer, and has attractive leaves edged in white. As a traditional Chinese medicinal herb ligustrum berry is typically combined with other herbs to produce formulas for “yin” health in Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you are on the north side, you will find your neighbor gets the best side of the privet hedge, and your side will be relatively thin, since it is the shady side. Both of them are more interesting than cherry laurel. It has lustrous, dark green foliage and is frequently planted around buildings and pruned to a "giant meatball" shape. thanks in advance! It makes a great screen, and the honey-scented blossoms attract butterflies and are a valuable food source for them. A light-colored type (not variegated) needs more water. Can I plant close to other trees? I think the flowers smell lovely. The flowers are tiny and white with little smell and the leaves are dark and shiny. I think it will probably stay mostly evergreen for you. It has RUINED the landscape in the Southeastern U.S. Can I apply brush-strength herbicide without hurting other plants in that bed (huge sago palm, crepes, the variegated privet)? i’m looking to plant the japanese privet for a privacy fence. There are tiny little seeds everywhere. Usually bloom in early to mid summer, but it can depend on trimming, since trimmed plants will bloom later, or not at all. We have a large number of berries, many more than ever before hanging like grape clusters. In the rest of our yard we have privet almost everywhere and are trying to make our yard not look just like weeds. I am sure that is just if left wild? I would like to plant this in the vicinity of an underground perforated drainage tile.Does the root system get aggressive and grow into a perforated drain tile if the plant is close to the tile? As for mingling’, trees generally mix only with their own kind, or those closely related, so no danger of getting an oak/privet hybrid springing up! Common Species Of the hundreds of varieties of privets, several species are seen commonly in home and formal gardens. Maybe you can cut it down in fall and move it? Not sure what people are talking about with comments “invasive” and “seedlings everywhere”. Nothing else would grow back there—but privets do really well anywhere and they keep my yard from crumbling down into the neighbor’s. I need to replace hedges that run along the road around my house. Thoughts? I would not eat them. The common privet is band in Maine as it is labeled as invasive. The flowers are produced in mid-summer in panicles 3–6 cm long, each flower creamy-white, with a tubular base and a four-lobed corolla('petals') 4–6 mm diameter. Also, that area looks like The River Selenga Delta; 2 split to 4 then 8 then 16 etc… The leaves are supple, not waxy and are teardrop shaped. I’m not sure which type Privet I have but they sure can make you feel miserable. It can be grown as a small tree. The compound leaves are dark green and composed of five to 13 leaflets. Tut, tut! Thank you! How can I tell the difference between a Japanese privet, a white lilac bush or a Hawaiian Mockorange; or whatever it is. Thank You. After the blossoms fade, privets produce small berries, known to attract birds. The fallen berries may stain car paint, walks, and patios. Perhaps it is growing in a lot of shade? What do u think it is – we live in north central Texas. The honey bees like the flowers. It is tough and durable, and its dark shiny green foliage makes it desirable. My question is, how long will a privet hedge live? So Im not sure if these privets even if they do seed and disperse will they even put a dent in the seeds that come from the forest? Studies done on this subject suggest it is minimal, once a plant has established wild populations. It’s ok with me if they mingle!! He never asked permission. So plant one and save the bees! Then trim as it develops. Impossible to know, of course, but that big, they seem more likely to be Chinese privet (Ligustrum chinense). In February this year, we moved to Arlington, Texas (suburb of Dallas). The leaves are 4 to 6 inches long, glossy dark green on both sides and less spongy than the leaves of Japanese privet. adroll_version = "2.0"; . This is a beautiful plant. I’m not very knowledgeable on plant names and have been utilizing a plant identification Facebook site. From the description it doesn’t sound like any of the plants you mention – they all have regular flowers, not at all like the irregular, ‘chestnut’ flower you describe. Are there any telltale characteristics to help us find out which species of privet these are? You need some botanical training, and examples, to be able to do it with reasonable accuracy. But, yes, it’s likely a good fit for you. Fruits are flat, berry-like drupes that are 0.2" long and blue-black in color. I understand the best time to do a rejuvenation pruning is late winter/early Spring. Fertilize and mulch with something rich, like manure or compost, keep it watered, and you will be amazed at the speed it will come back. Sounds cool! They were on sale at one garden center and perhaps I know why! That hedge was planted at the base of the wall and has grown to about 9feet high. I have these things proliferating in central California–the fastest-growing thing I have ever seen. The little black berries are toxic to mammals (acting as a laxative), but are not toxic to fowl and other local wild birds. The fragrant blossoms are considered by many to have an unpleasant aroma. I assume you know that when you see wisteria in a forest, that there are native species of this genus? A privet is a flowering plant in the genus Ligustrum. I don’t want berries! Thank’s Lisa! They thrive in … Twigs are smooth, gray, and covered with large lenticels. I’m zone 5a and it’s a light shade spot. The only way to stop berries would be to stop flowering, which means regular trimming. It stands about 12 to 15 feet tall and has little white flowers on it in the spring. I plan on keeping both so any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I’m only familiar with boxwoods but I know none that get 6-7 feet tall. Staggering will always give you more density – about 4 or 5 feet apart, with 3 between the rows, but again in depends on the variety. Once or twice in a winter we might get a cold snap close to zero, but otherwise 20’s and 30’s are more the norm. Our vet informed us that privet can cause a variety of problems if ingested by dogs. Thank you for the detailed information. Wax leaf not fond of too much water. Small plants may suffer rabbit damage. My neighbor cut them down until they were a foot high and then pulled them out by the roots without my permission. How do you feel about the Loense Privet? The privet plant is one of several species of plants often used as hedges. It is intolerant of wet soil. If your pup has a good selection of rawhide bones and toys, it probably will ignore plants in your garden – besides crashing into them when running around! Privet fruit are small, oblong-shaped berries that are dark blue or black. This is a great blog on the Waxleaf Privet and seems like you have sparked a lot of conversation. Also sometimes called Chinese privet, but better called glossy privet, Ligustrum lucidum does indeed have attractive glossy foliage, but in areas like Texas it too is invasive. I’m located in the northeast corner of Ct. Can you recommed a sented privet in zones 8 or 9 that would succeed in a patio container? My bush/tree is 15’ tall and is covered in large fragrant white blossoms right now. P.S. It also looks similar to some shrubs in our nearby neighbors but theirs may be the “creme-de-menthe” variegated… we were preferring a dark green. Privet is sweet and floral, and definitely like honey, which is why the bees like it so much. has a Shopper Approved rating of Round-Up doesn’t seem to phase them. The one sometimes referred to as Chinese “ligustrum lucidum” is actually used in Chinese herbal medicine It does only grow to about 8 feet, as a bush, not a tall tree, so you won’t even need to trim much – an attractive plant and a good buy! Apparently the Monarch butterfly loves the privet blossoms. That would be perfect for my privacy into the next yard as my neighbors yard is at a 3-4 higher grade than mine. Are any species native to the US? !!! They will eventually fall off, probably when the new growth comes, or at least they will be hidden by new leaves. So I remembered my wild privet hedge in Arkansas. As everything I read says full sun, partial shade. Maybe they need some lessons on swarming. I am guessing ‘yes’, but either way it is pretty shade resistant, and with overhead direct light it should grow fine until you can take down the fence. I noticed they flowered in the spring and in the fall this year, the bees and butterflies love them. It is invasive in warmer zones, where Ligustrum japonicum, Japanese privet, is a better choice, but I don’t think it would spread in NJ. Is California Privet another option? Very minimal flowering- thinking because I trim. Would it be an issue to have a mix of container sizes to start? based on 15652 ratings and reviews. I am originally from the US south but now live in Europe ( for 18 years). I have another tree in the backyard that looks like it may be the Texas strain. the issue i have is my neighbors do not want to remove the existing 6’ tall fence until i plant the privet on my side, along the fence, and it has grown dense. Other than pulling out the thousands of tiny seedlings, it is very difficult to get rid of. I see your and other comments describe the flower scent as “honey-like” as in “sweet” – I’m sensitive to sickeningly sweet scents (like Russian olive) and pollen. It did rain yesterday again & I thought they were looking better but today it looks like something is wrong with them . thanks for the response dave! As mentioned, it is replacing an existing hedge. I live in Northern California. Well, I can say that they could be privet, but they could be a lot of other things too. It may seem that calling something as everyday as privet ‘beautiful’ is going too far, but well-tended privet, as a tree or a hedge, is a handsome plant that can earn a place in any garden. We have 2 of these beautiful trees in central Texas, as well as many throughout the neighborhood. They are pretty tough and easy to move around. If they are good to eat or at least not toxic, it would be a good thing. It flowers in late spring and has an odor that is offensive to many people. Most species produce white flowers followed by small black berry-shaped fruit. L. japonicum has opposite green, leathery leaves, usually oblong or ovate with smooth margins. Don’t plant them is my advice! That ways 0% chance of its seeding anywhere and it stays bushy as you want it to be. I found this yesterday in an undeveloped lot within a nice neighborhood. The Texanum does drop a few leaves and flowers, but I’ve yet to have another one grow nearby from seedlings. Monkey apple berries are white-pink. I assume this is a privet hedge, in which case you can cut it almost to the ground – maybe 12 inches – in late winter. One of the ones that was flourishing, dense, full and green, produced a tremendous amount of blooms. I am excited to plant them and am looking forward to that sweet, summer smell every time I walk out of my front door. All plants need room to develop properly – measure your spot and compare it to the expected final size of the plant! Thank you again. So much great information. A quick google says it could grow up to 33 feet? In Texas, we also have the invasive Quihoui Privet (Ligustrum quihoui) which should be included in the Bad list. These shrubs have opposite, leathery, oblong leaves that terminate with a … I live in mid-Missouri/zone 6 and took over the hedge care of our 20+ year old neglected hedge this Fall. adroll_language = "en_US"; planted with enough space allowed for their growth, Is there a definitive answer as to how old a privet can get. Known as the Waxleaf Privet, it is garlanded with large, 8-inch-long clusters of pure-white flowers in spring. Thank you for this article. As of today when I trimmed it, it is 5′ 6″ tall and about 3′ wide on average. But I am more concerned about all the other comments too now! I thought it was so beautiful, I snapped a piece for ID. Regular trimming is the best way to reduce or eliminate flowering in any privet. As a garden plant it seems great for smaller hedge. It works in the landscape as an evergreen ornamental shrub, however, it does not work well as a foundation plant. Privet fruit is from the ligustrum lucidum plant, a traditional Chinese herb known by the name of Nu Zhen Zi. I need a fast growing hedge to hide and take over my chain link fence. The foliage of Border Privet is more or less toxic to mammalian herbivores and it is usually shunned by them. here is a place to start, if you are interested Wondering if the seedlings are safe to eat. Will the Amur privet or Japanese privet suffice? Out of curiosity I nibbled the top of a two leaf seedling and thought it was OK. How about care between now and then? I am considering doing a rejuvenation pruning because the shrubs were never properly pruned and are quite leggy at the base. Box 193 Millbrook, IL 60536 My garden center has this and the vulgare. I prefer more native trees. 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