Ligustrum plants, also known as privets, tolerate a wide range of conditions and are among the easiest shrubs and small trees to grow. Because of their versatility and undemanding nature, they are used extensively in home landscapes.

Plant them as hedges, foundation plants, patio trees or in shrub borders. Let’s learn more about planting Ligustrum shrubs and their care.

Ligustrum Care: Privets withstand drought, but they grow best if irrigated during prolonged dry spells. Fertilize Ligustrum plants in early spring and again in late summer or fall. You can also fertilize in summer if the plants are growing rapidly or appear to need another feeding.

Use 0.7 pounds of 15-5-10 or 15-5-15 fertilizer for each 100 square feet. Privets begin forming the buds for next year’s flowers soon after the current season’s blossoms fade. To avoid shearing off the young buds, prune the plants right after they flower. Prune to control the height and prevent the plant from overreaching its bounds. Privets tolerate severe pruning.

Are Ligustrums Fast or Slow Growing Shrubs? Ligustrums are very fast-growing shrubs. Japanese privets can add as much as 25 inches of growth per year, and other varieties grow quickly as well. This rapid growth rate means that ligustrum shrubs need frequent pruning to keep them under control.

Avoid planting common privet (L. vulgare) because of its invasive nature. Common privet seeds are spread by birds that eat the berries. As a result, it has spread into wild areas where it crowds out native plants.