Wild Privet, appreciated for its leaves

Wild privet excels at hedges

Wild privet is a very beautiful shrub, often used in hedges for its beautiful leafage and its humble blooming.

A summary of wild privet facts

Family – Oleaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 m)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage – semi-evergreen
Flowering – May-June

Planting, pruning and care are all good practices that will support their proper growth.

Planting wild privet

Planting wild privetIt is a good idea to plant wild privet in fall, it is the best planting season for it.

But still, you can also plant in spring those specimens that have been purchased in containers without any problems. You must then remember to water regularly during the 1st summer.

  • Wild privet does well in sun-filled or partly shaded locations.
  • For spring planting, remember to water more often at the beginning
  • In a hedge, space plants at least 30 inches (80 cm) from each other.
  • Choose well drained soil and follow our guidelines for planting shrubs.

Propagating and preparing wild privet cuttings

Wild privet is a shrub that is quite easily multiplied by preparing cuttings from its sprigs.

Prepare wild privet cuttings at the end of summer, on soft-wood growth, that is, wood that is not hard yet, nor has grown brown bark, but is in the process of hardening.

  • Wild privet propagationCollect stems that are 6 inches (15 cm) long.
  • Remove the lower leaves so that only the topmost one or two pairs of leaves are left.
  • Plant the cuttings in special cutting soil mix or a blend of peat and river sand.
  • Keep the substrate a little moist.

Before winter and the first frost spells

  • Protect your cuttings with a tunnel greenhouse, a greenhouse or any other solution that is able to keep them at a temperature of 40°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C).

In spring

  • When the last frosts are past, towards mid-May, transplant in nursery pots one size larger.
  • Planting in the ground will only happen in fall.

Pruning and caring for wild privet

Pruning wild privetVery often used to set up hedges, wild privet is a shrub that is easy to care for.

Wild privet can bear pruning well, in spring and in fall, do with it as you wish especially if it is a hedge.

  • If you prune in spring, when the sap is flowing up, you’ll spur the growth of your wild privet and they will be more vigorous.
  • If you prune in fall, when the sap is flowing down, growth will slow and you’ll maintain a nice regular shape over the winter.
  • The more you prune it, the longer its leaves will stay during winter.
  • Advice on how to prune shrubs

Watering wild privet

Even though wild privet is resilient and only requires little water, you still need to watch out for high temperatures and summer dry spells.

  • Mulch at the foot of the wild privet will let you retain moisture in the soil for longer.
  • Potted wild privet needs to be watered when the surface of the soil is dry, because water needs are higher.

Watering may be required in case of heat waves. Try to reduce water wastage for the plant, don’t overwater, and water preferably in the evening to reduce evaporation.

Learn more about wild privet

Wild privet hedgeUnavoidable in most parks and gardens, wild privet it most often used to create hedges or windbreakers.
Evergreen varieties are better suited to these purposes since they stay opaque all year long.

As a standalone, you’ll also find its blooming appealing, together with the beauty of its shiny small leaves.

Read also on shrubs:

Smart tip about wild privet

Careful not to eat the berries it produces because they are poisonous for us (but not for garden birds).

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-SA 2.0: Andreas Rockstein