Ligustrum (privet)

The Ligustrum*, or privet is a very strong hedge plant. It provides a graceful touch to your garden. The Ligustrum grows quickly, so your hedge will be high and closed in no time. So nobody can look into your garden. We call this plant semi-evergreen. Which means that it only drops its leaves in severe frost. If we have "normal" winters, the privet just keeps its leaves until spring. Then they will fall and new leaves appear.

Ligustrum (privet hedge)  

Privet is an easy plant that doesn’t really mind where you place it. It is also winter hardy. You can easily prune it. Even down to the bare wood. Beautiful flowers appear in the spring that give off a nice scent. After the blooming period, black currants appear. Note: if you prune it very often, it will not bloom and create berries. The privet plant allows you to create casual and formal hedges. Differences in height are also possible: high, medium or low. This depends on what kind of privet hedge you want.

Types of privet hedge

There are different types of privet hedges, each with their own characteristics. The types you can order from Haagplanten Heijnen are:

Ligustrum Ovalifolium - this plant has deep green, oval-shaped leaves and is suitable for creating low to medium hedges, up to 5 meters high.

Ligustrum Vulgare - This privet has narrow, elongated, green leaves. You can use this plant to create very low to medium hedges with a maximum height of 5 meters.

Ligustrum Vulgare Atrovirens - with this privet you can be sure that the hedge will have leaves all year round. It has narrow, elongated green leaves. This privet has a maximum of 4 meters.

You will come across privets all over the world. 

Why choose a Ligustrum?

  • It provides a graceful touch to your garden.
  • The plant is strong and winter hardy.
  • Most privets grow quite quickly.
  • They call them semi-evergreen, but when winter are not too harsh, they remain green all year round.
  • The ground in which it is planted does not matter much.
  • In spring, lovely smelling flowers appear, which attract many bees and butterflies.
  • Birds love on the berries that grow on the branches after blooming.
  • You can easily prune it. Even very rigorously.

When is the best time to plant a privet hedge?

You can plant your Ligustrum all year round. The best period is winter, then the hedge is already used to your garden in spring. Make sure that you do not plant the hedge when it is freezing.

How do you plant a Ligustrum?

  1. Remove weeds from the area where you will plant the hedge. This allows the roots to take full advantage of the nutrients in the soil.
  2. Dig a straight trench of at least 35 cm wide and 50 cm deep. For a straight hedge, stretch a rope before digging.
  3. Stir up the soil in the trench. You can choose to mix the soil with soil improver.
  4. Place the privet plants along the trench where you want to plant them. Satisfied with the distribution? Place the hedge plants in the trench, upright and in the center.
  5. Fill the trench with soil. Make sure that the roots of the hedge are covered. The Ligustrum can withstand almost anything, but the roots cannot withstand exposure to direct sunlight.
  6. Press the soil down well so that the privet hedge stands firm.
  7. Water the plants generously. Keep doing this until they take effect.


Be careful not to place the privet in the shade. It will not grow in the shade.
Do not water the plants too much or too little. Look for a happy medium.
The roots cannot stand direct sunlight this. So make sure they are all covered.

When ordering this plant, please note that there is a 10 per cent plant failure rate. For this reason, we recommend ordering 10 per cent extra plants and placing the remaining plants in an unused area of your garden. The plants will then grow just as fast with the rest of the plants and this way, you will always have enough spare plants in case of failure. In case of failure, simply replace the broken plant with one of the spare plants. As these plants are in the same growth phase as the rest of your hedge, you won't even notice that a plant has been replaced. 


The Ligustrum can grow to about 5 meters high. This does depend on the species however. Give the plants enough space to grow. Don't put them very close together.
You need about 5 plants per linear meter.
The privet grows between 20 cm and 40 cm per year. This depends on the species.

Advice & Care

  • Give the plant enough water, but not too much. He doesn't like to be in soaking wet soil, but he doesn't like it very dry either.
  • It is best to prune the hedge between May and September. It is best to prune before the longest day of the year. If you want to keep the hedge tight, it is best to prune several times; at least twice a year.
  • Pruning is best done with a sharp hedge trimmer.
  • Make sure to prune in cloudy weather. Not in direct sunlight, the leaves can burn.
  • Do not prune after the end of September. This allows the plant to recover before winter starts.
  • Fertilizing is very good for the hedge. It grows better, but the roots also stay in place and do not travel further in your garden looking for nutrients. It also prevents diseases. You can use special hedge fertilizer, but compost or garden peat is also fine. Fertilize the hedge immediately after planting and every six months thereafter.

Known disorders of the privet hedge

No matter how strong the privet is, it can always develop diseases. So make sure you order quality plants, take good care of them and fertilize them every six months. This way you significantly reduce the chance that your privet hedge will get sick.

Below you will find the most common diseases and pests. Is your privet sick? Contact us. We can provide you with advice on what to do to combat the disease.

Green apple bug - the foliage on the top of the privet becomes frayed and holes form.

Privet Pintail larvae - holes appear in the leaves all over the shrub.

Small winter moth - green caterpillars eat the growing tips of the young leaves.

Brush beetle - this beetle eats the soft parts of the white flowers.

Verticillium - the privet withers. This is due to a soil fungus that disrupts the flow of sap in the roots.

Leaf spot (Cercospora) - brown and black spots develop on the leaf. The leaves will eventually fall off.

Advantages and disadvantages of the privet


  • The plant is winter hardy.
  • The Ligustrum is semi-evergreen, but in less severe winters it will remain green. In the spring all leaves fall off and new ones appear.
  • It is very easy; you can plant it anywhere.
  • It can be used to create low, high and medium hedges.
  • The privet hedge grows quickly and is not see-through. This will give you a lot of privacy.
  • You can prune the hedge plant well.
  • It is very strong and if you look after it is not easily susceptible to diseases.


  • In the somewhat harsher winters it may lose all its leaves. Your hedge will be bare until spring. Fortunately, new leaves will appear.
  • The plant does not like long wet 'feet'.
  • The berries, leaves and flowers are poisonous. So be careful with small children and pets.
  • The privet can appear old-fashioned. But tastes differ.


The strong and hardy privet (Ligustrum) creates a graceful hedge in your garden. It grows quickly and thus ensures that you can enjoy your privacy. In spring, lovely flowers appear in the plants which also smell good. You will enjoy this, but they also attract butterflies and bees.

Are you convinced? Order your privet plants right away. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

*Please note that bare rooted plants are not covered by the growth guarantee and right of withdrawal.