Privet – Ligustrum ovalifolium – Garden plants – Oval leaf privet – Ligustrum ovalifolium – Shrubs



The leaves of privet are opposite, simple, ovate lanceolate, glabrous and shiny. These are very leathery and persistent leaves in most varieties of this plant.

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Privet description

We will talk in general about the ligustrum lucidum since it is the most widespread in our gardens. It is, as we have said, a shrub or small tree.


Family and gender

Fam. Oleaceae, gen.

Ligustrum which counts about 50 species

Type of plant

Shrub or sapling


Evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous depending on the species


Sun – half shade


Usually yes










From 50 cm to an average of 5-6 metres (if kept in a tree)



Usually it reaches a maximum of 5-6 metres in cultivation, even if spontaneously grown it can reach up to 12 metres. In that case, it takes on, as a tree, a wide column shape. It has ovate leaves, up to 10 cm long and 5 cm broad, tapered at the apex, with thin tip and not toothed. When young, they have a reddish colour and then become dark green and glossy on the upper page and opaque and lighter on the lower one. The bark is smooth and grey.

From summer to autumn (it has a rather long flowering period and for this reason is preferred in the gardens), it carries panicles long up to 20 cm of cream-white flowers, perfumed. From these then develop black berries with a diameter of about 1 cm. Particular attention must be paid (especially in the presence of children and animals) because they are poisonous. It is native to China (but in our country it has also become spontaneous), in particular to hilly and mountainous areas.

Privet flowers

Ligustro small and perfumed, ivory white, hermaphrodite, arranged in ovate terminal and erect cobs. They bloom from April to June, followed by small, globular berries with an oily pulp, green at first and black when ripe.


Privet plants need a sunny or partially shaded exposure. The exposed and illuminated corners of the garden and the more aerial areas are ideal.


From the point of view of temperatures, privet is not a plant that has problems. Overall, it tolerates winter cold and a few short periods of frost without problems. It grows optimally with night temperatures above 12°C.


The watering of the privet must be regular throughout the year so that the soil is always moist.


As far as the fertilization of the ligustrom is concerned, it is necessary to enrich the soil with manure every spring. At the beginning of the summer season we fertilize with mature manure but without exaggerating. We can also use pelleted or floured manure to be spread on the ground.


Moltiplicazione In September October, wood cuttings are taken and planted in a mixture of peat and sand. The rooted cuttings are transplanted in the following April.


Privet prefers fertile, fresh and possibly calcareous soils.

Diseases and pests

miner insects dig tunnels in the leaves, which are covered with bluish stains.


Privet is mainly used for the realization of hedges of medium height (a few meters), usually formal. It is also possible, however, to grow it as a sapling, since it is very decorative for its leaves and its long flowering period.

Privet planting

Messa a dimora ligustro Whether you want to plant it as an isolated specimen or make a hedge, it is however advisable to plant the privet during the vegetative rest, that is from autumn to early spring. Autumn, however, is certainly the period of choice because during the cold months will be encouraged rooting: the plant will therefore grow more already during the first year. It is a good idea to choose a day that is not rainy or excessively cold (the soil should be neither snow nor ice cream).

Lignustines can withstand all types of soil. If you want to create a point of interest with different privet trees, you should distance them about 80 cm-1 meter from each other. If, on the other hand, you want to make a hedge, the ideal distance is 60 cm. These plants are usually sold in pots or only with ground bread. If this is too dry and compact it is better to put it for a few minutes in water so that you can then better free it from the container or fabric in which it is wrapped.

If the roots at the bottom are too compact and have formed a thick layer, it is better to cut them and open the bread slightly.

Make a hole 60 cm deep and wide. In the case of a hedge we can also dig everything along a line. On the bottom we can put organic soil improver (manure, horn) and cover with a layer of soil. After that we can insert the plant (so that the collar is slightly below ground level) and close the hole. If the soil is not of good quality (too sandy or stony) we can intervene by changing it.

Compress the area around the shrub well with your feet to avoid harmful air bubbles and create a small bundle of soil around the collar of the privet. This (together with good mulch material such as straw, leaves, wood chips or nutshells) will help the roots not to feel too cold and therefore overcome the first winter well.

Finally, watering must be abundant, even if the earth was already moist. This will help the soil to settle and will still water the roots. It is advisable to insert a guardian by planting it as deep as possible and securing the plant in several places.

Privet irrigation

siepe ligustro Privet is a strong and undemanding plant. Some species even grow well in the sand and in the presence of salty winds. Most of them, however, appreciate regular irrigation to always have a beautiful vegetation. However, it can only suffer in summer. In that case the leaves will become greyish and will tend to roll up. They can also be more easily victims of powdery mildew.

In case of dry summers it is therefore advisable to irrigate abundantly, especially if the plants are young, at least once a week. In this way we will be able to enjoy also in this season their shiny leaves and the decorative flowering.

Pruning and formation of privet hedges

Privet is the king of hedges because it bears very well the cut and its growth is very rapid. To keep a hedge young it is advisable to cut the older branches at the base to encourage the growth of new branches. However, we can also give you some indications for cutting a recently planted hedge. Pegs, ropes and hedge trimmers (or an electric hedge trimmer) should be available. If the hedge is very high, it is advisable to use a ladder or, even better, a scaffolding or scaffolding.

It is important to be able to work at the same height as the cutting level. This way you will get a straight, precise and uniform cut. It is also advisable to descend several times to check the level of the cut.

Start by planting stakes at each end of the hedge, at the level of the vertical cut. You should also place some in-between stakes every 4-5 metres. A rope must then be stretched at the height of the cut so that it is as straight as possible. Always start cutting the upper part of the hedge with the shears or hedge trimmer and always get rid of the cut branches for perfect visibility. The sides must then be cut.

In order to maintain verticality, additional ropes can also be stretched between the stakes at different heights. Cut from the bottom and upwards. In this way the cut branches will fall without getting caught in the ones below. If the branches are too big to be cut by the shears or hedge trimmer, you can use a lopper or a chainsaw.

Privet is an evergreen shrub. It is therefore advisable to intervene often so that it is continuously stimulated to produce new branches and leaves. Those produced in autumn will remain very beautiful throughout the cold season.

Pests and diseases

It is a very robust plant, but, at times, it can be affected by problems of various kinds. A little more attention and attention will be a sufficient remedy.

One of the most common problems is powdery mildew. It usually affects plants in areas that are too shady, with branches that are too compact or in areas that are not well ventilated.

First of all it would be better to intervene by pruning so that the air can circulate better within the plant. If this is not enough, specific products against powdery mildew can be used. A fairly common enemy is also the oziorrinc. Its presence is highlighted by leaves cut at the edges. The larvae feed on the roots and the plant becomes weaker and weaker as a result. Specific products should be used to eliminate the larvae in particular.

Another enemy can be excessive cold. This can cause the leaves to fall even in varieties that should be evergreen. More often, however, it happens that only the tips of the branches freeze. Usually, with the arrival of spring, everything is back in place and good pruning should be enough to eliminate the most damaged parts.

Privet multiplication

The apical cutting is the simplest method for the multiplication of the privet.

First of all, you have to take some apical twigs that have passed on the plant in August (semi-woody). The colour of the branch should no longer be green, but close to brown. They must be about 15 cm long. It is necessary to make a clean cut at the base, freeing it from the leaves while leaving a maximum of 4. The two lowest ones should be cut in half to limit the loss of liquids. At this point, the point of the cut must be immersed in a liquid or rooting powder.

If it is a powder, it is important to eliminate the excess. Prepare a box with a substrate composed of equal parts of river sand and peat (ideally you should also add some agri-perlite). Wet the soil thoroughly. Drill holes with a pencil and insert the cuttings, spaced about 5 cm apart. Place the box in a sheltered area and cover it with transparent plastic. Remember to uncover it from time to time to change the air and moisten the substrate again. In the spring they should have rooted.

They can then be moved into individual jars. Usually the following year they are ready to be planted in the open ground.

Privet: Ideal as a hedge

Siepe di Ligustro Oval-leaved privet is one of the most common hedge plants in our latitudes. It can occur in various ways: as a shrub or small tree, but can never exceed four meters in height. As a hedge plant, it is ideal, presenting with well erect stems and oval leaves, shiny, dense and a bright green color. In late spring and early summer, it is also possible that small, ivory-white and very fragrant flowers bloom.

Also for this reason, it is a simple solution, but very elegant and refined to separate or divide outdoor spaces: its shape is perfectly suited to create green rows and thick natural barriers very resistant even in autumn or low temperatures.

  • ligustrum Privet is one of the most widely used evergreen species for the creation of hedges. Plant of Japanese origin, the ligustr
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  • ligustro siepe Hedges are widely used in the field of gardening. Their function is to shield and shade spaces e.g. in the garden.
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