An incredibly popular hedging plant, Privet - commonly misspelled Privit and known within the horticultural industry as Ligustrum - is often misconceived as a run of the mill hedge; the street Harry Potter grew up on, Privet Drive, conjuring images of an uninteresting suburban estate, how wrong these perceptions are!
Privet hedging makes a delightful formal hedge as it takes well to tight pruning, creating a dense semi-evergreen screen. Privet hedges are considered to be semi-evergreen, rather than fully evergreen hedging because in very cold winters it can lose some of its foliage which comes back afresh in the spring.
Best4hedging offer a range of Privet hedge plants from the popular green variety, through to varieties with a golden leaf for a splash of colour.
Confused by privet hedge growth rates? Wondering, how tall does a privet hedge grow? Use the table below to help understand privet hedge height.
30-60cm a year
20-40cm a year
20-40cm a year
|Ideal final height||1-4m||1-4m||1-4m|
Privet hedging is ideal for so many situations where it can be used as a fast growing hedge for screening and to use as a windbreak. It is often planted in urban areas, as it is pollution tolerant and is popular for shaping into sweeping arches or creating topiary shapes. The only instance in which Privet hedging is not a good choice is around paddocks or farm land, as the foliage is known to be poisonous to horses. Take a look at our full range of hedging plants for alternate options in this situation.
Privet hedge planting distance is dependent on many factors, such as your budget, the size of plants and your level of patience! Each of our privet product pages – Common Privet, Wild Privet and Golden Privet show a suggested planting density range e.g. 5-7 per metre, to help you decide on spacing.
If we look at golden privet hedge spacing as an example, we offer various plant sizes; 2-4 litre pots will suit a planting density of 3-5 plants per metre, as will bare root plants. The large troughs we supply will be best planted at 1 per metre. Smaller bare root plants could be planted in a zig-zag fashion also to create a denser hedge. The choice is ultimately yours, but for more advice on planting density see the individual product pages or contact our sales and service team.
If your new hedge is made up of young plants then the first springs prune is an important one. All young plants should be cut back to 15-20cm (6-8inches) above ground level in early spring. Then for every 30cm (1 foot) of new growth remove 15cm (6inches), continue this practice until late summer when pruning should be left until the following spring to avoid damaging plants.
For informal privet hedges once a year in the spring remove 1/3 of the longest stems and shorten the remaining stems by 1/3.
More formal hedging should be sheared a few times a year from early spring to late summer, removing approximately 15cm (6inches) of growth.
Sometimes a renovation prune is the only way to bring a tired, old privet hedge back to a lush, bushy boundary. In late winter cut the whole hedge back to 15-25cm (6-30inches), the established root system will ensure that new growth is produced quickly so your hedge will be back to a good height within a year or so.
When shaping your established privet hedge aim to have slightly sloping sides with the top of the hedge being the narrowest. This will ensure that the bottom of the hedge gets enough light and will prevent leaf-drop.
Not just a pretty face, Privet hedging offers sustenance to birds and bees. Honey bees and bumble bees visit Privit for its nectar, whilst birds will enjoy the berries and seek shelter within the foliage, amongst them Blackbirds, Thrushes and Waxwings. Privet doesn’t need to be a formal hedge, allow it to grow more naturally to maximise the flowers and berries for your garden visitors.
Though we wouldn’t recommend ingesting Privet hedging as you may find it results in an upset tummy, the leaves and bark of Privet hedging have been used for years for medicinal purposes.
It can be used in a decoction (mashing then boiling in water) to treat chapped lips and sore throats, amongst other things. The foliage can also be used to make a herbal tea which is said to improve the appetite of chemotherapy patients.