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Privet Hedge Plants

Privet Hedging - Ligustrum

Privet is probably the best all-round evergreen hedge plant for urban areas. It grows in compacted, polluted soil next to roads and tolerates more shade than almost any other hedge plant. Green privet or variegated golden privet are the preferred choices in towns as they are truly evergreen, work well as screening plants and can be clipped to make smart formal hedges. Privet grows quickly and forgives overzealous clipping. In the country, wild privet, while not as evergreen as the other two, carries masses of black fruit into the winter which are loved by birds. Privet hedges are best kept to about 2-3 metres. If it is not for you, then take a look at our other hedging plants.


How to Plant a Privet Hedge

privet hedging

Planting Privet hedges is one of the easiest ways to create fast-growing, smart, evergreen barriers around your garden. However, easy to grow as privet may be, you will get a much better hedge if it is properly planted.

Bare-rooted privet plants establish very fast and are much more economical than privet grown in pots. The planting season for bare root plants is from October up to the beginning of April. If you cannot plant within this time frame, then you will have to ante up and go for pot grown privet instead.

Prepare the ground really well; privet may be tough but it is enormously greedy and rewards you with rapid lush growth if it is started in soil that has plenty of added organic matter. Be generous - a privet hedge can still be around in 50 years time (and will still be looking good). While improving the ground, get rid of larger stones, perennial weeds, tree roots and other detritus. Break up the soil - all plants establish better if their roots can row and spread easily.

On the assumption that you are planting bare root Privet, wet the roots well. Take one bundle of plants at a time out of the parcel in which they were delivered, pop them in a bucket of water and leave them there while you are planting them. Cut the string or cable tie holding the bundle together, taking care not to damage the plants. If the soil has been well prepared, it is soft and so it is easy and quick to take out a trench just a little wider but no deeper than the roots.

Plant privet hedging in a single row and don't overcrowd the plants - 3 plants per metre is good. Use a couple of sticks and a bit of string stretched taught to ensure the hedge is straight and space the plants at 33 cm intervals. Return the soil around the plants, and firm it well making sure the finished soil level is the same as when they were lifted. On most plants you will find a "high tide mark" on the stem showing where the soil was previously. A good mistake with privet hedging is to plant too shallow, a bad one is to plant too deep.

If you are planting potted privet outside the winter months, make sure the top of the compost in the pot is level with the surrounding soil. Apart from that, just plant containerised privet as outlined for bare-root plants above.

As soon as you see the first new leaves emerging, trim the tops of your plants - reduce bare root plants in height by about a third. It will make them bushier at the base.

Water well, sit back and watch them grow.

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  1. Privet, Green

    From £1.06
    Ligustrum ovalifolium - 40 - 100cms Bushes
    • Evergreen.
    • Excellent urban hedging.
    • Suitable for poor soil & full shade.
    • Max. Height: 4m
    • Year Round Delivery

  2. Golden Privet Leaves - Ligustrum ovalifoleum Aureum

    Privet, Golden

    From £1.09
    Ligustrum ovalifolium Aurem - 30 - 100cms Bushes
    • Yellow / green variegated leaves.
    • Excellent evergreen urban hedging.
    • Suitable for poor soil & partial shade.
    • Max. Height: 4m
    • Year Round Delivery

  3. Wild Privet leaf

    Privet, Wild

    From £1.06
    Ligustrum vulgare - 40 - 80cms Bushes
    • Native. Semi-evergreen.
    • Excellent country hedging for shady sites.
    • Max. Height: 4m
    • Bareroot Delivery Only: Nov-Mar.

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