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How do you prune a young privet?

B3B3 Posts: 27,334
I recently  put this privet  into the ground from a container and it's  growing well.
I want it to get fairly  large  eventually,  but would like it to be quite dense. I'm  not sure of the shape I want yet.
My question  is:
Do I  pinch out all the new buds now or let the twigs grow longer and then prune it?

In London. Keen but lazy.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,419
    My feeling is that you should pinch out the new buds as soon as the weather gets warmer and repeat throughout the summer to keep it as dense as possible.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,831
    If you want density, reduce any shoots growing vertically.  The more severely you prune any of the top shoots (especially during peak growth periods such as Spring), the more the plant will put growth on lower down. 

    If it is still too open for you, then you can also trim the sides, to encourage more dense growth from the centre of the plant, but yours is nicely dense already.  Privet is tough, so you don't need to pinch out delicately, get in there with the shears, it can take it.

    Water yours well this Summer, as it is newly planted in the ground, and you will find it grows very quickly.  We love Privet, both the standard kind, and also the variegated form.  We love topiarising it, have you thought of what shape you want yours to be?

    This is standard Privet in our front garden.

    This a variegated Privet (L. Argenteum) in our back garden, in a trough.

  • B3B3 Posts: 27,334
    Thanks @Lizzie27 & @KeenOnGreen.
    I had it in a container in the shade for a couple of years.  It's getting it's colour back. I'm looking forward to shaping it. I will wait a year to see what it thinks. Love your front hedge KoG. 
    I'm one of those weird people who likes the smell of privet blossom.  Urban childhood,school holidays.  Topiary and blossom don't go together unfortunately.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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