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Advice needed re: new privet hedge

I have just bought a load of privet hedge plants from an online supplier, and am worried that they will not form a good hedge.  Though advertised as being 120-150cm high, with growth throughout the length of the plant, most of those supplied are between 150-200cm high, with almost all growth starting from 50-100cm up the main stem(s).  The plants therefore look very leggy, with the first 50-100cm almost entirely bare.  See picture to illustrate problem.

The supplier assures me that this is because the plants have been grown in containers set close together, so the lower parts of the plants haven't had much light.  They say that if I plant them out the lower areas will start to produce leaves and bush out (if that is a term), so that within weeks I will be able to see the difference and a good hedge will eventually be formed.

I am sceptical.  Can anyone reassure me (or otherwise)?

Thank you in advance.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,418
    Hi 🙂
    we don’t seem to have the picture?  If it’s not uploading try reducing the size 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • liz 289liz 289 Posts: 10
  • liz 289liz 289 Posts: 10
    Sorry about that!
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,259
    They do indeed look very leggy and have obviously not been grown in the right conditions. I think you have two choices, either you reject them and insist the supplier takes them back or take a chance and plant them at the correct spacing. If you do that, I would prune some of the top growth off to a uniform height which will help make the plants "bush up" lower down the trunks. Privet are quite tough plants and also grow quickly so they should easily make up the height next spring. If you are  planning to grow them in front of that nice wall, plant them at least 2 ft away from the wall.
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