Privet hedges are a popular choice for homeowners looking to add privacy and beauty to their outdoor space. These fast-growing, evergreen shrubs are easy to maintain and can thrive in a variety of climates. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about growing privet hedges, from choosing the right variety to proper care and maintenance.
Choosing the Right Variety
The first step in growing a successful privet hedge is choosing the right variety for your specific needs. There are several types of privet hedges available, but the most popular are the wild privet (Ligustrum vulgare) and the cheyenne privet (Ligustrum vulgare 'Cheyenne'). The wild privet is a fast-growing, hardy shrub that can reach heights of up to 15 feet, while the cheyenne privet is a more compact variety, growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. Consider the size and location of your hedge when choosing which variety to plant.
Planting Your Privet Hedge
Privet hedges can be planted in either spring or fall, but it is important to avoid extreme temperatures. Choose a location with well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Dig a trench that is twice as wide and deep as the root ball of your plants. Space your plants 2-3 feet apart for a dense hedge. Place the plants in the trench, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the ground. Fill in the trench with soil and water thoroughly.
Watering and Fertilizing
Newly planted privet hedges should be watered regularly, about once a week, until they are established. After that, they only need to be watered during periods of drought. Fertilize your hedge in the spring with a balanced fertilizer, following the instructions on the package. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and weak branches.
Pruning and Maintenance
Pruning is an important part of maintaining a healthy and attractive privet hedge. Prune your hedge in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Use sharp pruning shears to remove any dead or damaged branches, and shape the hedge to your desired height and width. Regular pruning will also help promote denser growth.
Common Pests and Diseases
Privet hedges are generally resistant to pests and diseases, but there are a few common issues to watch out for. Aphids, spider mites, and scale insects can all infest privet hedges, causing damage to the leaves and branches. These can be treated with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Leaf spot and powdery mildew are two fungal diseases that can affect privet hedges, but these can be prevented by ensuring proper air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.
We welcome you to take a look at our British grown privet which is checked for pests and diseases, which being grown here in the UK does not carry foreign disease and pests unlike some imported plants.