Chinese Privet Plant is blooming evergreen shrubs that are frequently planted as hedges. Depending on the type, they can also be cultivated as tiny, bushy trees. The Ligustrum genus contains over 50 distinct species that may provide a classic appearance when running along a property border. These bushes may make a natural privacy fence for people looking for a more private environment in their yard.
When viewed in isolation, many privet species are not particularly beautiful. They are either evergreen or deciduous, with thick, oval or lance-shaped, glossy green leaves; some species have a variety of leaf colors. The plant’s popular name almost sounds like “privacy,”
In the early summer, little, tubular blooms emerge on panicles with pungent aroma that some people detest. The flowers are followed by round, black fruit clusters. Chinese Privets grow quickly and may be sown in the spring or fall. The fruits and leaves of Chinese privet are poisonous to both humans and animals.
Chinese Privet Plant
The most common invasive Ligustrum species is Chinese privet, a perennial shrub in the Oleaceae or Olive Family that develops from seed, root, and stump shoots. Privet escapes cultivation through seed movement, which is consumed and then transferred by animals, mainly birds. It may replace the native shrub layer of invaded woods and inhibit native species’ regrowth.
Chinese privet is a tiny tree or shrub that may grow to a height of 7 m. It may produce dense thickets and push out local plants where it grows. It is capable of rapidly expanding to the exclusion of practically all native species and is adaptable to a broad variety of environmental conditions.
Chinese privet is a 2–7 m tall, evergreen to semi-deciduous shrub or tree with cylindrical and hairy branchlets. The opposite papery to leathery leaves are 2–7 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, with an entire border and a 2–8 mm petiole. The blooms are white and grouped in cone-shaped panicles that range in length from 4 to 10 cm.
The corolla is composed of four basally united petals with protruding stamens. The ellipsoid fruits are blue-black and berry-like, measuring 5-8 mm in diameter, and form dense pyramidal clusters. It poses a hazard in many environments and is extremely difficult to eradicate once established. The blossoms have a disagreeable scent.
- Common Name: Privet, Chinese privet
- Botanical Name: Ligustrum sinense
- Family: Oleaceae
- Plant Type: Shrub
- Mature Size: 4–15 ft. tall, 4–10 ft. wide
- Sun exposure: full, partial
- Soil Type: Well-drained
- Soil pH: acidic, neutral, alkaline
- Bloom Time: Summer
- Flower color: white
- Hardiness Zones: 3–8 (USDA)
- Native Area: Europe, Africa, Asia
- Toxicity: toxic to people and pets
How To Grow Chinese Privet Plant
Chinese privet has deep roots, plant seedlings 40 cm apart if used as a hedge. The space between two plants should be at least 3 m if planted as small trees. Before planting, apply a layer of organic fertilizer to the soil to raise the temperature, make the soil fertile, and stimulate quicker development. It must be watered consistently for three days after planting. After that, wait until the soil has dried before watering again. Remember to give shade when the sun is shining brightly.
Chinese privet branches grow quickly and must be clipped 2-3 times each year. It may be trimmed into many forms as a shrub. During the summer, remove any branches that are superfluous, untidy, sick, weak, or growing downward or inward from the main branch. In the winter, prune again and cut the main branch somewhat shorter. Pruning too much might cause delayed growth or even death, so prune sparingly.
Chinese privet spreads aggressively and uncontrollably but if you are looking for an economical way to fill gaps in an existing Chinese privet hedge, you can propagate it by cutting as follows:
Cut in early spring to 6 inches long, thin and pencil-thick. Remove all leaves from the lowest 2 inches of the cutting to expose the nodes. Dip the tips of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Potting mix should be filled in 4-inch plastic pots. With a pencil or stick, poke a hole in the dirt large enough to accommodate the leafless section of the cutting.
Gently press the cutting into the soil and press it down. Water well until the soil is evenly moist. Place the pot in a sunny outdoor spot with indirect light, away from direct sunlight. Always keep the cuttings moist. Within a month or two, new root and leaf growth should appear.
Plant in the landscape and maintain well-watered for at least another month, longer in dry weather, until new plants establish themselves.
Chinese Privet Plant care
Chinese privet bushes can survive a wide range of growing conditions and are fairly easy to maintain. However, their planting site must have adequate drainage. Additionally, depending on where you live, some private species are considered invasive plants.
Plant Chinese privets about a foot apart in trenches 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep, and then cover the stems with soil. Regularly water existing plants and new Chinese privets when the weather is dry. Fertilize your plants throughout the growing season, from spring to fall. Privet is not suitable for container gardening due to its fast growth and size.
Soil and Fertilizer
Chinese privet thrives on soils that are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, with a pH range of 6–7.5. It thrives in deep, fertile, humus-rich, well-drained sandy loam or clay soil.
The fertilization needs for Chinese privet are not high. To produce lush foliage and bright leaves, use organic fertilizer twice a year, in the spring and fall.
Light and Water
Chinese privet prefers full sun but may tolerate slight shade. It is ideally planted in an area that is not shaded by big trees or buildings.
If there hasn’t been any rain, young Chinese privet bushes benefit from a deep weekly watering. Mature shrubs are drought tolerant, but should be watered if there is a prolonged dry spell or if the weather is extremely hot to avoid the soil from totally drying up.
Temperature and Humidity
Chinese privet bushes often shed their leaves in the fall in milder climes. As a result, they are unable to provide year-round privacy as a hedge. Temperature needs vary according to species. However, if properly watered, they can withstand temperatures well below freezing as well as summer heat.
Humidity isn’t usually a concern, but fungal infections may thrive on damp foliage that doesn’t get enough air circulation.
Pests and Disease
While Chinese privet can suffer from diseases like leaf spot and powdery mildew, aphid, leaf miners, scale, mealybugs, white scales, brown spot, sooty mould, damping off and mites. More serious diseases include anthracnose and twig blight.
Brown Spot: Brown spot is a fungal disease that mostly affects the leaves of Chinese privet during the summer months due to high heat and humidity. At the onset of the disease, small red-brown spots with black mold appear on the leaves, with purple rings around the areas. Illness can be avoided by paying attention to ventilation. Remove diseased leaves as soon as possible and treat with fungicide.
Sooty Mold: Sooty mold is a fungal infection that mostly affects the leaves and branches of Chinese privet plants. At the onset of the disease, circular black mole patches form on the leaves. Sooty mold can be avoided by ensuring adequate air circulation and light transmission.
Damping off: Damping off is a fungal disease that thrives in warm, humid conditions. When infected, the leaves dry up and turn yellow, the bark peels off easily. Infected plants should be removed and burned as soon as possible.
White scales: When Chinese privet is affected by white scales, tree branches and twigs become covered in a thick layer like hoarfrost. This causes the Chinese privet to weaken, grow slowly, and eventually kill the branch or the entire plant. When the disease appears, significantly diseased branches should be cut and treated with insecticides.
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