Growing Privet: Tips at a Glance
- Type Semi-evergreen shrub
- Lifespan Long-lived perennial
- USDA Zones 5-10
- Light Sun or some shade
- Water Moist soil
- Location Perimeter plant
- Design Tip Privacy hedge
- Caution Invasive in areas
- Peak Season Dark winter berries
Privet: A Field Guide
Semi-evergreen privet hedges are stout guardians of privacy.
Privets have a long tradition of serving as fence substitutes, for grand seaside Long Island mansions and modest suburban gardens alike. A benefit of Ligustrum’s approximately 50 species: They grow fast and can be pruned hard without consequence. A drawback: Privet propagates easily through seed dispersal by birds who eat the berries and has become invasive, considered a pest in a number of US states as well as in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
If privet is invasive in your neighborhood, consider there alternative shrubs for a privacy hedge: pittosporum, rhododendron, boxwood, mahonia, or laurel.