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Green Privet, Ligustrum ovalifolium, is one of the best evergreen hedging plants for the city. It grows quickly, clips very nicely and it will grow in poor, compacted soil in the shade, next to a busy road. It is a good plant for simple topiary.
Privet hedges will reach 4 metres high, perhaps a bit more if it grows freely as a large shrub.
You can also buy variegated Golden Privet and native Wild Privet from our nursery.
Privet hedge plants are delivered bareroot during winter (Nov-March) and pot-grown year round. Bareroot Privet bushes are cheaper than pot grown plants. Pot grown Privet is available in the largest sizes.
Choosing a size: When you are ordering Privet plants for a hedge, we generally recommend that you use smaller plants. They are cheaper than large plants, easier to handle and they will establish well in poor conditions. Use larger plants if you want a taller hedge quickly, if you want to clip them as topiary or for instant impact.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots or pot aren't measured).
Spacing a Privet hedge:
Plant Privet hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart in a single row.
General description of Privet plants:
Privet is a big shrub that is evergreen in most of Britain, although it may drop its leaves in a harsh Northern winter. This doesn't really affect the cover it provides: the inside of a mature privet hedge has densely packed twigs that block light pretty well. The lush, oval leaves are deep green.
Privet is a really useful hedge plant for difficult spots; its only requirement is decent drainage. It will grow vigorously on the worst soils, it seems immune to air pollution and it doesn't mind being used as a toilet by the local dogs and cats.
Privet regrows quickly from a harsh clipping. Old privet hedges that have become sparse can be hard pruned down to about 50cms. They will regrow vigorously.
If you grow it as a shrub, it will become a large, dense bush about 5 metres tall with cones of scented white flowers in summer, followed by pretty clusters of small black fruit in early autumn. Although Green Privet is not native, its leaves and fruit are eaten by butterfly caterpillars and birds respectively. If your children keep stick insects as pets, you will know that privet is their favourite food.
History & uses of Ligustrum ovalifolium
Green privet is a Japanese plant that was introduced to Britain in 1885. The Victorians fell in love with it because it grew happily in their polluted, smoggy inner cities and also because it is so easy to propagate: anyone could start their own privet hedge, at no cost, from the clippings of a neighbour's hedge.