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Privet hedge plants

Privet Hedge Plants

Buying a privet hedge is worthwhile for any garden, as it grows quickly into a dense hedge and provides the perfect wind protection and privacy screen. It grows in virtually any location, both in the sun and partial shade, and in any soil. This popular hedge plant grows rapidly to a view-proof, semi-evergreen sight and windbreak hedge. With colourful varieties and beautiful bee-friendly flowers, these plant varieties provide all that is needed in the garden. This popular hedge plant belongs to the olive family Oleaceae.

The wild or common privet (Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens') is native in our regeion and the plant is a valuable nectar plant for bees and other insects. It is also good for birds; they like to eat the berries and they find nesting sites in the dense branches of this hedge plant. Ligustrum vulgare is a virtually wintergreen shrub that grows 3 to 4 metres high in the garden and is suitable for dense, sturdy hedges. The oval-leaved privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) is also suitable for hedges. There are varieties with bicoloured leaves, which are also ideal for hedges. You can choose between golden (Ligustrum ovalifolium 'Aureum') and white-coloured varieties (Ligustrum ovalifolium 'Argentum'). These semi-evergreen plants shed their foliage after longer periods of below minus 15 degrees Celsius, but the new growth occurs early in the spring in both varieties.

   
 
No image available Evergreen Privet

Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens'

From £10.40 *

Golden Privet 'Aureum'

Golden edges surround the shiny, green leaves of Ligustrum ovalifolium 'Aureum'

From £9.90 *

Privet

Ligustrum ovalifolium - a universal hedge plant

From £9.90 *

Privet 'Argentum'

Ligustrum ovalivolium 'Argentum' is an enrichment to the assortment of hedge plants

From £9.90 *

   
 
Privet Hedge Plants

How Fast Does It Grow?

If you buy a privet hedge and plant it in your garden, then you can expect it to grow 30 to 40 centimetres per year. Make sure the hedge gets enough food. In the spring, when the leaves shoot out, the hedge should be fertilised with compost. Bone meal is also suitable as fertiliser for this type of hedge, but compost is better for the plants because it also mulches the soil. If the hedge is cut regularly, it tends to grow stronger. Especially right after planting, it is important that the young shoots of Ligustrum vulgare or ovalifolium be shortened by one-third to half their size. Due to this pruning measure, the hedge plants branch out better and the cut also stimulates the growth of the plants. Once the hedge has reached its desired size, it must be cut back regularly in order to keep it in the desired shape.

Buying and Planting Properly

If you buy a privet hedge, you must make sure that the plant quantity matches the available space. Expect one plant every 30 centimetres. Thus, the young varieties will grow rapidly to an opaque hedge. If you leave more space between the individual hedge plants, it takes longer for the hedge to close, but of course, it is possible. In order to succeed in planting a straight hedge, you should stretch a string where you plan the hedge, and then dig a planting hole every 30 centimetres along the string. Remove the young hedge plants from the pot, tear open the root ball well so that the roots are loose, and then place the young privet plants in the prepared holes. Fill with soil and compost and water well. Now the young hedgerows have to be cut back immediately. The individual branches of the hedge plants are shortened by one-third to one-half. As a result, the growth of the hedge is promoted, the young plants branch out stronger and the privet varieties grow closer and bushier together. The cut-off height will soon catch up due to the vigorous growth of the plants.

Location

You can buy a privet hedge for virtually any location. The common privet (Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens') and the oval-leaved privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) are extremely easy to grow; they are robust and adaptable plants. They are very pH-tolerant and thrive in virtually every garden soil. Although they always prefer lime-rich soils, if the soil is slightly acidic, they will still grow. They prefer a sunny or partially shaded location but do not like total shade. The only thing that a privet hedge cannot tolerate is waterlogging, and it can even manage with several weeks of drought in the summer. Dirty city air and locations on busy roads also do not bother these plants. Even in the area of ​​shallow-rooted trees such as birch and maple, privet hedgerows can still thrive. In such locations this is more difficult for other robust hedge plants such as cherry laurel or beech.

Propagation

If you spend enough time and have enough patience, then you can propagate and grow your own privet hedge from cuttings. For this, cut about 20 centimetres long sticks in the winter. Dig these into place, where the hedge is to grow, with a distance of 30 centimetres between the cuttings. Only the topmost bud pair should be seen poking out, the rest of the shoots should be in the ground. As a reserve, put a few cuttings in pots, so you can easily replace any failures next year. As soon as the young plants start to grow vigorously, they can be shortened in the summer. Thus, the branching is promoted, so that soon dense, vigorous plants emerge, which produce a dense hedge in a few years.

When and How to Prune

Privet hedges grow so much that they have to be cut twice a year. You should make the first cut in June. In August, you then make a late summer cut. Later in the autumn you should not prune your privet anymore; in the spring it should also not be cut because firstly, it would lose the flowers that are important for the insects and secondly, it disturbs the birds that may nest in the hedge. If you missed the late summer cut, you can wait until next June and then cut back stronger if you need it. When forming a privet hedge, it is important that the edges taper in a trapezoidal shape. Each hedge must be slightly wider at the bottom than at the top. The other way around, the hedge would become top-heavy and get barren over the years. When pruning, strings are stretched so that the hedge can be cut as straight as possible. Pruning shears or an electric or motorised hedge trimmer can be used, depending on the size of the plant and effort required.

Care

Buying and cultivating a privet hedge is not difficult. Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens' and Ligustrum ovalifolium are one of the most easy-care plant varieties for the garden.  In addition to the regular cuts in June and August, these hedges need almost no maintenance. However, privet plants appreciate being mulched and fertilised with compost in the spring. In nutrient-poor soils, a privet hedge will grow but it will still require some care such as regular fertilisation during periods of growth. Otherwise, hedges of Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens' and Ligustrum ovalifolium are very easy to care for in the garden, and they are certainly one of the simplest hedges ever, along with cherry laurel. Anyone who is afraid of planting cherry laurel, which is considered invasive, is better off using hedge plants of the two privet species. The privet is guaranteed not to form runners and it does not spread. In addition, the common privet (Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens') is native and valuable to bees and other insects. The oval-leaved privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium), on the other hand, is native to Asia, but this species is also visited by insects, and the birds eat its berries and nest in its branches. Buying both privet hedges makes sense, as both Ligustrum vulgare 'Atrovirens' and Ligustrum ovalifolium are well-proven in our climate and they are an ecological asset to any garden.

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