Common Wild Privet
Ligustrum Vulgare Hedging
Common or Wild Privet, Ligustrum vulgare, is a large, native shrub that makes a great country hedging plant. It is the only semi-evergreen in our range of privet hedge plants as it loses its leaves in mid-winter in cold weather. This hardy, shade tolerant bush is often planted to provide cover and its berries are valuable food for wildlife and game. Please note however that in common with other members of the privet family, the shoots and leaves of wild privet are poisonous and so should be kept away from livestock. It is suitable for any averagely fertile soil and will grow in quite damp places. It is better than Green privet for exposed locations and it does well on the coast.
Wild Privet is good for hedges up to about 4 metres high.
Wild Privet hedge plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March).
Choosing a size: When you are ordering Wild Privet plants for a hedge, we generally recommend that you use plants that are graded at 40/60cms because they are cheaper than larger plants and will establish well in poor conditions. Use the 60/80cms tall plants if you need a mature hedge quickly.
All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Wild Privet hedge:
Plant Wild Privet hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart.
You can also plant Wild Privet at 5 plants per metre in a staggered double row, with 33 cms between each plant along the row and 40cms between the rows.
General description of Wild Privet plants:
Common privet is a large native shrub that is usually found growing wild on poor, dry soils near the coast, on the edge of woodland and on chalky terrain. It is an excellent plant for wildlife, supporting a range of insects and small birds with its white flowers and small, bitter, black fruit.
History & uses of Ligustrum vulgare
Wild privet is found all over Europe, parts of North Africa and eastwards as far as Iraq. It supports Privet hawk moth caterpillars, Britain's largest native moth, which also feeds on ash and lilac. It has been used extensively as a hedge plant since Elizabethan times, but it has been almost entirely replaced by Green privet which was introduced from Japan in the 1880's.