Connie from a Tenn. It is ironic that in the back our neighbors’ privets have destroyed the fence and we have two of them now growing in our yard…impossible to get rid of easily. The stalks range from .75″ to 1.25″ in dia. I planted a privet in a 10 by 14 ft area. If they are good to eat or at least not toxic, it would be a good thing. It’s ok with me if they mingle!! We have privets and junipers both of which I am horribly allergic to but the flowering one is just lovely and we love honeybees. Japanese privet is weedy in disturbed areas around buildings and has escaped and naturalized in moist areas. It has been blossoming since may, but many of the blossoms are dying. A twig with green leaves is pretty hard for anyone to identify, a botanist would likely refuse to even try. You need some botanical training, and examples, to be able to do it with reasonable accuracy. Some have fallen but we have lots on the tree and would like to see them gone. The other type that I have has never had berries! form a strategic partnership called N.C. long (10 cm), distinctively paler beneath, and upright panicles of small, creamy-white flowers in late spring to early summer. Two feet out from the fence. The amount of flowering/berries can differ from year to year. Could the scent of the California privet be in this category? After a heavy crop last year there is a good chance it will be much lighter this year, and rainfall and temperatures play a part too. I assume it is the European version. Do you think my privet is the invasive kind or a different variety? They tend to shed some leaves which isn’t so bad. They might not be native, but when they make flowers, the bees love them, and the berries attract hundreds of Robins and Cedar Waxings that feed off of them for weeks. Thank’s Lisa! It is a horrendously invasive species. What makes privet beautiful is a little care from its owner. Could you shed some light on this? Well, scent. It did rain yesterday again & I thought they were looking better but today it looks like something is wrong with them . Last summer, I had the yard crew whack the towering Chinese privet hedge to four feet high, and I now have privets everywhere in my 20×12 ft bed. Sounds like you have had a lot of rain, and I suspect an opportunistic fungus has established in the dead wet flowers and spread down the branches. I am looking to create a privacy screen on both sides of my backyard but want it to be shrub (since I have little space) that grows at least 8-10 ft tall, sweet scented, deer resistant, insect resistant (love birds, butterflies but no beetles, stingbugs, etc). 🙂 …. Winding Creek Nursery & Garden Center 8241 Millbrook Road P. O. Agree entirely about kudzu! Whatever it is, if it has been repeated pruned since the 40s you won’t kill it by cutting it down hard – I would suggest removing the biggest branches right at the bottom, and leaving the thinner branches about 2/3 of the height you actually want this plant to be. Let’s face it – Privet has a bad reputation. Use the Chokeberry to replace the overgrown Burning Bushes that are everywhere. Does this type of shrub exist? The privet plant is one of several species of plants often used as hedges. May I send a picture please? These plants spread outside the garden because birds eat the berries and then spread the seeds as they move about and do what birds do. . Fruits are flat, berry-like drupes that are 0.2" long and blue-black in color. A variety listed as growing smaller will of course take longer to reach that height than a tall variety will, if you are willing to keep trimming it regularly. ‘Howardii’ is a golden form of the Japanese Privet, Ligustrum japonicum. They spread over the party fence line. The common privet is band in Maine as it is labeled as invasive. Thanks! I trimmed the smaller shoots at the bottom in order to walk under it. The risk of drift is too great if you use a sprayer. Thank you in advance, This is an interesting one! Sounds like you have amateur beekeepers somewhere near you? It was introduced into the United States in 1945 as an ornamental. That will also prevent it seeding. I’ve done a lot of reading about it. Do you have any suggestions on pruning? 😬. I do think it is potentially invasive, especially in the long term, when no-one is trimming regularly anymore. We have soooo many native plants that evolved with our wildlife supports them and in so many ways that it’s crazy to me that people tend to buy mostly non native plants when we could help the eco system by buying natives and giving back habitat we have taken away with lawns and non native plants that supports only pest. Other than pulling out the thousands of tiny seedlings, it is very difficult to get rid of. It ignores drought and heat and it is easily trimmed into a hedge anything from 4 to 12 feet tall. Fertilize and mulch with something rich, like manure or compost, keep it watered, and you will be amazed at the speed it will come back. This is a beautiful plant. It does only grow to about 8 feet, as a bush, not a tall tree, so you won’t even need to trim much – an attractive plant and a good buy! its like an army. It has become an invasive weed in the southeastern US. My question is, how long will a privet hedge live? Here are 10 easy-to-grow berry-producing shrubs, vines and trees that produce berries that birds will love. . I googled thinking the invasive suckers were ligustrum, but in reality they are Chinese privet. If i plant 200 of these in various areas as a hedge and allowed to grow to its mature size (10 ft high x 6 wide) should I be concerned about it invading and sprouting everywhere? Unfortunately, it is planted too close to my houe so I have to frequently trim it as it grows fast. I wonder though, have you considered Pittosporum tobira? But right on the shore you should have the coastal effect keeping it a bit warmer, so probably OK. You might also consider using eastern red cedar – Juniperus virginiana, which clips well, grows on the shore, is more cold resistant, and doesn’t grow so fast, so needs less frequent clipping. For low-maintenance, this plant stand out. 1 … Would it be an issue to have a mix of container sizes to start? The little black berries are toxic to mammals (acting as a laxative), but are not toxic to fowl and other local wild birds. Being that tall I’m thinking they were Japanese privets. Your article set me on the right path. As for bugs, I am afraid you will get what you get, and plants aren’t ‘designed’ to satisfy our strictly human opinions on ‘good and bad’ in the insect world! It has twisted leaves that give an elegant air to this very easily grown evergreen, that can also be planted as an easily-maintained hedge. Put some compost or rotted manure over the roots, water well, and I bet it will come back like you wouldn’t believe! Thank you again. . But am at a loss as to what else I could use. I live in a rural woodland area with a property that backs to forest in the NJ pine barrens. How about care between now and then? It does get clusters of berries once or twice a year. Will any form of privet be evergreen here? Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. This is a plant that will grow rapidly and crowd out your garden, as well as producing some dull flowers that never the less seed profusely, and have already spread into many north-eastern forests. I suggest taking a piece, in bloom or with berries, to a local garden center, where you might get lucky and find someone who knows the local plants in your area. I am truly a fan. I live in southern California. Thank you so much for making it available and giving more information that I have found before. I have found one called Curlyleaf Privet – Ligustrum japonicum ‘Rotundifolium’ on Monrovia website which seems to be closer to the size I need. What is the best type of privet to plant for this climate across from the ocean? We have a Ligustrum vulgare along the driveway that was here when we moved in 20 years ago. I’m not sure which type Privet I have but they sure can make you feel miserable. It grows more slowly and also flowers much less, so it doesn’t present the same environmental hazards. should work well, but I might be a bit concerned that you are at the limit for hardiness – you are in the colder part of zone 7. So I think the two you have bought will be fine in your hedge. Right now I’ve transferred a bunch of the baby ones which sprout reliably each year. It works in the landscape as an evergreen ornamental shrub, however, it does not work well as a foundation plant. I need something structured, architectural as the house and formal plantings call for it. Japanese Privet is susceptible to copper deficiency and whiteflies. You are in zone 4 or 5, and privet is not hardy enough for you. But it’s non-native, pops up all over because of the birds, and the berries are toxic to people (and, I think, mammals.) Shorter hedges – under 4 feet – need to be no more than 2 feet apart, but 3 feet is best for taller ones. It’s a good screen, only needs shearing a few times during the summer to keep it neat, and we never water or ‘feed’ it. Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast Japanese Privet, Chinese Privet, and Common Privet . I know I planted very close to the fence but what I am trying to achieve is green covering the wooden fence and I need 10 to 15 feet of height for privacy. I planted 750 bareroot privet plants around my garden a couple of years ago. So Im not sure if these privets even if they do seed and disperse will they even put a dent in the seeds that come from the forest? Well, I can say that they could be privet, but they could be a lot of other things too. This plant is small enough to grow in large pots and planter boxes, where, with its arching shoots, it makes an attractive terrace and patio plant. Wow, you must have a large property! I’ve been planting and growing the Texanum variety for about 15 years and have not had this problem in the Northwest. It has lustrous, dark green foliage and is frequently planted around buildings and pruned to a "giant meatball" shape. The genus contains about 50 species of erect, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes forming small or medium-sized trees, native to Europe, north Africa, Asia, many introduced and naturalised in Australasia, where only one species extends as a native into Queensland. They seem to max out around 8’tall by 6’wide . More than just a foliage plant, privet will also flower with white blooms in late spring to early summer. . My allergist ran some tests and right at the top is Privet. I have, over the last few years, noticed that it seems to die from the top down since I’ve cut what I thought were dead branches off at the bottom only to find the bottom very healthy. the privet will be planted east to west along my property. A quick google says it could grow up to 33 feet? I’m now wondering if there are meant to be able to keep as bushes and also am now worried about the possibility of seedlings that some people have mentioned. My neighbor has the identical setup as Phil’s neighbor. This is usually covered in the descriptions of the individual plants. My best suggestion is to take a piece in bloom to a local garden center and ask them – they will usually know plants grown locally. Maybe thats a better solution for my specific scenario. I showed them the pictures and was told that the tree is a Privet Tree. I’m trying to identify the bushes in my front yard, I’m thinking they might be privet but I’m not sure. The final way to make privet beautiful is to allow enough room for it to fully develop. It takes a pretty large dose to make a dog sick, so the odd leaf or two isn’t likely to hurt. Thanks. There is an awesome Privet hedge that runs along the road in front of the house. In the rest of our yard we have privet almost everywhere and are trying to make our yard not look just like weeds. North side? Thank you in advance. The constant clutter is an eyesore on the otherwise manicured landscape, attracting rodents and birds and posing a slipping hazard as the fruits rot. Wax leaf not fond of too much water. People have died that way – really, they have. But after reading all the comments I am rethinking about throwing it away. based on 15652 ratings and reviews. adroll_version = "2.0"; Even a klutz like me can grow one. 4.7/5 It should have been contained in the jungles of Southeast Asia from where it came…I am in the process of trying to eliminate it from my 483 acre forest…almost IMPOSSIBLE !!! But if you are trimming regularly, flowering will be scarce – trim in spring and you won’t see much, if any, at all. As far as I know there has been no work on producing varieties that don’t set seed, which would be a good thing for some plant breeder to take on. Yes, it’s slower than privet (just about everything is!) From the description it doesn’t sound like any of the plants you mention – they all have regular flowers, not at all like the irregular, ‘chestnut’ flower you describe. It was also unkept by previous owners so it grew to 4-6 feet deep. I always loved the way it smelled and scented the entire garden when in bloom. Good for this area as it is hardy and no pests. My research indicates yes, but I’d love to hear from an expert. Thank you for the great information on your site. We are on a barrier island in New Jersey.USA This year we had very sparse growth and two look almost dead. I am so relieved to read that! or even as an unclipped flowering shrub in a small garden. Avoid: Yew seeds. The form called ‘Texanum’, which originated in that state but is widely grown today in California, reaches just a modest 6 to 8 feet tall. Are any species native to the US? . It grew to 3 feet over the winter but I’ve cut it down to about 20 inches this first year and I’m filling in with new plants. I live in VA and they grow well and pretty fast. It makes a great screen, and the honey-scented blossoms attract butterflies and are a valuable food source for them. After the blossoms fade, privets produce small berries, known to attract birds. Which would explain the … I’d love it to be super dense and reach at least 6ft tall. Privet fruit is from the ligustrum lucidum plant, a traditional Chinese herb known by the name of Nu Zhen Zi. Some species have become widely naturalized or invasive where introduced. Regular trimming of a hedge turns it into an outstanding garden feature, and if the variegated Japanese privet is used, you have a hedge that sparkles with color all year round. I am guessing ‘yes’, but either way it is pretty shade resistant, and with overhead direct light it should grow fine until you can take down the fence. It’s pollen season in Northern California and I am reacting like no previous year. Just some info to help you figure it out or for you to direct me to where I might find help. He had to remove Honey bees from the wall. My neighbor has about 10 privet trees in her very small backyard that are in excess of 20 feet tall. Out of curiosity I nibbled the top of a two leaf seedling and thought it was OK. Ligustrum japonicum in one or other of its forms – ‘Texanum’, ‘Recurvifolium’, etc. My privet, whatever it was, did not stink and I did not mind the new seedlings as it added to the privacy screen between us and our neighbor. Will it survive in our hardy winters? I assume this is a privet hedge, in which case you can cut it almost to the ground – maybe 12 inches – in late winter. The Juniper Virginiana is a common site in my neck of the woods for sure. adroll_current_page = "other"; It is way too hardy here in Northern California! It is about 10 feet tall, has white flowers in June which smell very nice, the flowers attract bees and butterflies. It should be deer resistant, but that doesn’t mean deer proof – if they are hungry enough. The showy white flower clusters are attractive, however, the odor may be objectionable. How can I tell the difference between a Japanese privet, a white lilac bush or a Hawaiian Mockorange; or whatever it is. With climate change and housing development I was wondering if there is a chance of them reviving? Unfortunately proper identification of privet needs someone with botanical knowledge, and actual specimens in both flower and fruit. I live in Sacramento, CA and would love to site a couple of Taxum privets 3 ball topiaries ( approx 5 Ft) against a two story house with Northern exposure. Is this an invasive plant in Iowa? It probably fits your needs fairly well, if you are at least in zone 6. Can I apply brush-strength herbicide without hurting other plants in that bed (huge sago palm, crepes, the variegated privet)? Tut, tut! Its fetid flowers bloom in late spring and have an odor that can be offensive to many people. The fragrant blossoms are considered by many to have an unpleasant aroma. They will eventually fall off, probably when the new growth comes, or at least they will be hidden by new leaves. We live in southern Arizona and we would like to know if the berries will ever fall off. In fact, birds seem to enjoy the berries. This is probably the best article I’ve read about privet online; thank you so much! Where does “Korean Privet “ fit into this? Did it even when tenants were out. You don’t mention how long you have had them, but if they are established I doubt it is too serious. This is privet by the way. Could they be privet? We have the wax leaf in our front yard and it is beautiful and serves that area very well. We must just know who to invite over and who to have the bouncer throw out. This product feature natural green hued berries that vary depending on seasonal climates. It produces toxic berries. The only bad time would be at the height of summer, especially during a drought. As mentioned, it is replacing an existing hedge. Not sure what people are talking about with comments “invasive” and “seedlings everywhere”. This is a great blog on the Waxleaf Privet and seems like you have sparked a lot of conversation. I have been going through some pretty miserable allergy problems. It is invasive in warmer zones, where Ligustrum japonicum, Japanese privet, is a better choice, but I don’t think it would spread in NJ. That sort of thing is always interesting. I think that persistent digging is your only answer, unless you can remove all the plants you want from the bed, and then cover it in black plastic for a summer. I am afraid we don’t have facility to upload pictures, and anyway, telling them apart is tricky, and needs fresh material, including flowers and seeds. It is also commonly used for hedging in suburban gardens. I live near Chicago (Zone 5) and am considering a Davidson Hardy privet. I plan on buying some more and planting them this year. !!! As for mingling’, trees generally mix only with their own kind, or those closely related, so no danger of getting an oak/privet hybrid springing up! a little confusing. Also, some varieties hardly ever bloom, others do it a lot – perhaps you have a ‘non-blooming’ one? Has anyone ever heard of Cheyenne Privet? It may seem that calling something as everyday as privet ‘beautiful’ is going too far, but well-tended privet, as a tree or a hedge, is a handsome plant that can earn a place in any garden. We are in northern Ohio, 6a. Hardiness. the fence is actually north east to south west with the privet being planted on my side which is the more north western side. Will pruning the flowing or subsequent berries slow down the hedge’s growth? Ruellia is very invasive in zones 9 and 10, but it sounds like it is just as bad in zone 8! it is not waxy leaved. What about using Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)? As a garden plant it seems great for smaller hedge. That ways 0% chance of its seeding anywhere and it stays bushy as you want it to be. I would go with Texas, as California grows too large for you, although it does clip well. It has cooling properties that are known to help the yin, and support the liver and kidneys. Don’t be surprised that almost any established broad-leaf tree will re-sprout from the stump – it is certainly not something unique to privet. Spacing on planting? Syzygium australe Similar to tree privet. It nice to be able to get solid information out, and even better when it’s appreciated. Oh boy I just bought 13 “Korean Privet” because on sale and fast growers and evergreen. Both of them are more interesting than cherry laurel. But it depends where you live – some species are not invasive at all in some areas, and pose only a very low threat in others. I live in Québec Canada. If you are at all worried, spend a few minutes taking off the spent flowers once they fade, and trim it back a bit at the same time. We are happy to have any ornamental like these. If this flooding looks likely to become more common with rising sea levels, maybe you want something salt resistant. Small plants may suffer rabbit damage. I’m imagining just letting them grow natural form. Ligustrum berry comes from the Ligustrum lucidum Ait plant, also sometimes called glossy privet. Thanks. I think it will probably stay mostly evergreen for you. You will still be left with all the dead twigs though. Thanks. Remember it is not Ligustrum vulgare, which is pretty invasive just about everywhere. I can’t find any at other centers nearby. Can you recommed a sented privet in zones 8 or 9 that would succeed in a patio container? It has overgrown many wild areas and is very difficult to keep clear. I live in West Texas (Zone 9a) and came across this page through a Google search. Thank you. Thank you for this article. In the process he actually cut down three 25 foot privets! When it comes to privet, ‘small’ is almost always a virtue! The brilliant green is a treat in the winter. I would like to plant this in the vicinity of an underground perforated drainage tile.Does the root system get aggressive and grow into a perforated drain tile if the plant is close to the tile? Given this info do you believe there is still any concern with planting the waxleaf? What a great, helpful article! I have about 3 ft tall shrub that was identified as being a privet. Left untrimmed privet will flower profusely, while trimmed trees don’t flower much at all. White flowers appear from June, and black berries ripen in autumn. Maybe just digging is easier – no one said gardening didn’t involve some hard work! Also it looks like a lot of the leaves are wilting or curling up too . adroll_language = "en_US"; planted with enough space allowed for their growth, If you don’t stay on top of them, they will be a mess all over your yard! Privet are tough, and can be cut back freely, especially in a warmer place like Dallas. We want a full hedge about 4 ft high to block the wind and create privacy but not something that will block our view or overtake the entire bed. Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day), Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours). It flowers in late spring and has an odor that is offensive to many people. They provide wonderful shade, the bees and butterflies are abundant when they bloom, they do grow fast which is great if you are looking for a small shade tree and they are easy to prune. I live in the Nashville, TN area and am in the process of doing some re-landscaping at our 23 year old home of the past 8 years. The California privet seems to check all the boxes. If I trim off the blooms will the leaves begin to grow again so that the bush is back to being dense? I just wish I could figure out if the ones I have are the medicinal ones. But like the five-year-old who gets on a no-fly list because he shares a first name with a wanted terrorist, all privets don’t deserve this reputation, which springs from a few black-sheep who have sullied the reputation of the whole family. Granted the flowers are a little hard on my allergies, so I never plant too close to my entry or window. Mention it to the average gardener and they picture a big, boring plant with green leaves that must be constantly battled with to stop it taking over, and which seeds wildly in every direction, invades the surrounding countryside, and ends up getting itself banned in multiple jurisdictions. Wax Leaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’). 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