Forum home Problem solving

Privet Hedge leaf fall

Hi I’m new to this forum. I have a privet hedge which was planted 3 years ago as 3ft high plants. The plants are now 5ft high. However for the last 2 years the leaves have got brown spots on them and fallen off. The plant itself looks healthy and new leaf buds are everywhere on the plants again this year. The hedge has quite a lot of ivy growing up the wire mesh fence behind it but not on the plants. Does anyone know what the problem might be. I’ve attached a couple of pictures for reference.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    Your privet has fungal leaf spot, easily spread by excess wet and damp conditions. Don't be put off, you need to collect dead leaves promptly from under the shrub and make sure the shrub has good air flow. Pruned when it is dry rather than wet. Are your shrubs under a canopy of a tree. Is that Ivy creating excess damp along the back of the shrub.  All things to look into for the future of your hedge. In the winter time, some privet shrubs can lose their leaves. When it warms up, the leaves should start growing again.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Agree with Borderline about the leaf spot.
    I can see some kind of conifer behind that chain link fence, and the well established ivy is creeping through the bottom of your privet onto your paving.
    I'm wondering if your new hedge is struggling to compete for water and nutrients?

    Clear out any old leaves and cut back the ivy around the base. Give it a good prune, feed, make sure it's not short of water and it should thicken up for you.
  • Thanks for all your comments. The ivy is starting to travel and I certainly can cut it back. The hedge is slightly sheltered under the canopy of some conifer trees. Is there an anti fungal treatment that would work or do I just keep collecting the falling leaves and try and keep the area dry?
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Personally I wouldn't bother spending money on a chemical treatment.  Trimming the hedge and clearing out the base of old leaves should remove most of the affected stuff.

    Privet is tough as old boots and responds well to a hard prune.  The new growth will be healthier and more vigorous with the benefit of adequate feed and water.  A sprinkling of "Blood,Fish & Bone" general purpose feed, lightly forked in around the base of the plants will give it a boost.

    Don't "keep the area dry". I think Borderline was talking about clearing out the old bits to create a good airflow. The roots still need plenty of water to thrive and yours are having to fight the conifer and ivy for every drop.

  • Once again thank you for your follow up comments. I will get to work on it.
Sign In or Register to comment.