The potting shed
Privet hedge issue
The potting shed
My well established privet hedge has started to lose some leaves and when you look closely there appears to be a light green lichen growing on it in patches. Will Jeyes fluid kill it off and not harm the privet at a certain concentration?
Don't think that is a good idea! Lichen grows in cool and moist places and is harmless. Just let it be!
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement
' - Helen Keller
No! Never put JF on a plant or the soil. Lichen suggests your hedge is growing very slowly and also may lack good air-flow. I'd look up how to care for a privet hedge before I did anything to it.
I have been looking after this hedge for the past 44 years and it is still grows rapidly as I have to cut it once every 2 weeks from May for the next 4 months. This lichen is spreading and stoping the leaves forming resulting in bare patches
No, it works the other way round ... you're confusing cause with effect .... lichen forms on slow growing plants ... it doesn't stop plants growing. It's a great part of the ecosystem and indicates good air quality.
We've had quite a few reports recently of privet suffering from the effects of the hot dry summer If your hedge is nearly 50 years old (or more) it's probably a bit tired. Does it get a good feed and mulch each year? Did you give it several good soaks during the drought?
Clear out the base of your hedge so it's free from weeds, dead leaves etc ... give it a good soaking ... the ground is still quite dry below the top few inches ... and then mulch with organic matter. Give it a feed of Fish, Blood and Bone in the spring and stand well back
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
edited October 2018
I would think cutting every two weeks takes off all the new growth before it's had a chance to photosynthesize very much and feed the plant, which could have weakened the plants gradually over the years. From the pic it looks like it's only been left with a very thin layer of leaves.
My privet has only needed two cuts this year. Usually it gets 4 or 5 cuts between April and September or so, taking off around 6 to 8 inches of growth each time. I think it probably grew slower than usual due to the heat and drought (I never water it and it gets whatever feed it can grab from the neighbouring borders).
Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained