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Common Privet - Ligustrum vulgare

Common Privet - Ligustrum vulgare

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 Alkaline, Chalky, Calcareous Alkaline, Chalky, Calcareous
 Light Sand Light Sand
 Neutral Neutral
Evergreen Evergreen
Flower Interest Flower Interest
Growth Rate: Quick Growth Rate: Quick
Native Native
Use: Evergreen Hedging Use: Evergreen Hedging
Use: Formal Use: Formal

Characteristics
Plant Protection
Planting & Care
Long Description 5
Images (4)
Questions (2)
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A semi-evergreen (evergreen in all but the harshest winters) large shrub which makes just as good a hedge as the more familiar Oval-leaved Privet. With narrower, pointed dark green leaves and larger panicles of flowers, it is an excellent, but often overlooked wildlife plant. Fast growing, if it is clipped regularly it will make a good dense hedge, but will not flower or fruit.

Site and soil

Wild Privet will grow in most soils, except very wet conditions, and does especially well on chalk. It is wind and shade tolerant and does well on coastal sites.

Height and spread

Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;

After 10 years: 3m x 3m
After 20 years: 3m x 3m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are oval to lance-shaped and a glossy dark green; evergreen. The bark is grey-brown, spotted with numerous lenticels.

Flower, seed and fruit

The creamy-white tubular flowers are carried in panicles 3-6cm long in July; they have a sweetish, musky scent. They are followed by clusters of glossy black fruits, each containing 1-4 seeds. The berries are poisonous to humans, but are relished by birds.

Uses

Hedges, mixed wildlife hedging, screening, woodland, game cover. The berried stems are valued for flower arranging, particularly as a contrast to the Spindleberry which fruits at the same time.

Wildlife

Common Privet has good wildlife value. Its dense habit provides an ideal nesting site for several species of birds. The flowers attract bees and other insects, and thrushes, blackbirds and waxwings eat the berries. Moths, including the Privet Hawk moth and the Lilac Beauty Moth feed on the shrub.

The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:

  • Pests
  • Spraying
  • Strimming

Pests

When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golen rule of thumb is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.

Vole Rabbit Hare Roe Deer/Muntjac Fallow Deer
Vole, Mice
20cm
Rabbit
60cm
Hare
75cm
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Fallow Deer
1.50m

 Download our full protection range as a printable PDF document.

Protection Options

Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Vole
Vole, Mice
20cm
Vole Guard
20cm

None required
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Rabbit
Rabbit
60cm
Spiral Guard*
60cm x 38mm, 60cm x 50mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14- 16lbs
Tubex Easywrap*
60cm x 50-65mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14- 16lbs
Mesh Guard with Spray Shield
60cm x 130mm
2 x Bamboo Canes
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap*
60cm x 65-80mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14- 16lbs
Tubex Ecostart*
60cm x 57-73cm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
60cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170- 200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube for Shrubs
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170- 200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Hare
Hare
75cm
Tubex Easywrap*
75cm x 50-65mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14- 16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Spiral Guard*
75cm x 50mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14- 16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap*
75cm x 65-80mm
*Not recommended for this species
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14- 16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Ecostart*
75cm x 57-73mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Combitube
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
75cm x 80-110mm, 90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
75cm x 130-160mm, 75cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Roe Deer/Muntjac
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Tubex Tree Shelter*
1.20m x 73-105mm, 1.20m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube*
1.20m x 73-105mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube*
1.20m x 80- 110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube*
1.20m x 80- 110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard*
1.20m x 300mm
*Not recommended for this species
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.20m x 50mm, 1.50m x 50mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Fallow DeerFallow Deer
1.50m
Tubex Tree Shelter*
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube*
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube*
1.50m x 80- 110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube*
1.50m x 80-110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard*
1.80m x 300mm, 1.80m x 600mm
*Not recommended for this species
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.80m x 60mm

Spraying

Tubex tree shelters offer the benefit of not only protecting against animal damage, they also ensure that herbicides do not come into contact with the plants during spraying.

The main reason for spraying is weed control, however, there are other options available to suppress weeds. Our accessories section includes weed control matting, fertilisers & wildflower seed.

Strimming

Young plants should be protected from damage caused when strimming. To protect plants solely for strimming, our strimmer guards are the ideal product.

Planting

New hedgerows should be planted in two staggered rows 30cm apart.

We recommend a minimum of 5 plants per metre.

Follow this link to our 'Planting Advice' page for more detailed information on how to plant your plants.

Rootgrow

We would often advise that you consider using 'Rootgrow' for your bare root plants. Rootgrow simply speeds up an existing natural process. The fungi contained in Rootgrow will begin to colonise the plant or tree roots, extending the root system into the surrounding soil via an extensive network of fungal filaments. 

The benefit of Rootgrowis that it enhances a plants root system so a newly planted plant:

  • Finds more food, finds more water.

  • Needs less fertiliser.

  • Establishes quicker and reduces failure rates (which can be improved even further when used in conjunction with Broadleaf P4)

  • Has increased tolerance to drought and difficult soil conditions

We also have a handy Welfare Guide that includes information on how to check your plants on arrival, how to plant them and also how to look after them. This is sent out with each delivery of bare root plants, but it can be downloaded from our advice pages.

Aftercare

Formal hedges should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. For wildlife, Common Privet can be cut back to ground level every few years if necessary in spring to improve flowering and fruiting.

Readily available advice

For additional information on planting and maintaining your plants, please see our advice pages.

We provide extensive articles, tips, and even tutorial videos, ideal for beginners and those with previous planting experience.

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Do I plant Privet with Spiral Guards?

Yes you can plant Privet with Spiral Guards (and Canes as they are needed to hold the Spiral Guards up), but we would always advise the use of Mesh Guards with Spray Shields and Canes (2 canes per mesh guard) as they allow more room for the Privet to bush out

Thank you from the Trees and Hedging Team

Question received 17th September 2012 I want to create a hedge in two runs, 5m and 3m, that is dense and quick to establish. The base of the hedges will not necessarily need coverage (although it would be nice) as there is a wall that covers the first 60cm or so of the height. What would you recommend in these circumstances, and what is the ideal planting distance for speeding up the formation of a dense hedge? Would it be possible to companion plant at the base to hide the gaps?

Answer:

We recommend that you go for Privet planting at approximately 6 plants to the metre, a pack of 50 should be sufficient for this area. 

This is semi-evergreen and is renowned for being a quick-grower.  

In the spring/summer you will need to cut it two to three times to keep it neat.

The base should thicken up if no guards are put on the plants when planted, therefore we suggest that you will not need companion planting on that basis. However you will have to be vigilant of the young plants as they will have no protection.

 

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