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Deciduous privet

I planted 15m of bare root privet plants 3 or 4 years ago to form a hedge. Each year they have shed most of their leaves, which has really annoyed me as privet is said to be largely evergreen, and it was at the front for privacy to avoid net curtains. It is Ligustrum ovalifolium, with quite large green leaves. Neighbouring privets are largely evergreen. Has anyone else come across this? I assume it is a rubbish variety, from the local garden centre, though I suppose it could be cultural. I usually mulch with shredded trimmings from another hedge, and add blood fish and bone in spring. 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,152

    Mine loses its leaves in a harsh winter.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Invicta2Invicta2 Posts: 663

    Ligustrum ovalifolium is classed as a semi-evergreen. It means that the harsher the winter, the more leaves it will drop unlike a true evergreen like Holly. There are some truly evergreen privets, Ligustrum rotundifolium and Ligustrum chinense, though the latter prefers sheltered locations.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    It's not the most reliable evergreen hedging, try eleagnus its far more reliable and has the benefit of sweetly scented flowers. It's dense and very good as a hedge.

  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    Thanks all. 

    The thing is that it has already lost most leaves even though it has been very mild, so I guess it must be a strain that loses leaves easily. I know it is supposed to be semi evergreen, but this stuff is deciduous.  I was wondering if there was some cause such as lack of feed. 

    I know there are other plants, but it takes five or so years to establish a hedge, I like Cotoneaster franchetii and now wish I'd planted that one. 

  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    The hedge was for privacy a function it does not fulfil during late autumn to spring, almost six months. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,045

    I think most people regard privet as evergreen. If it gets plenty of moisture it helps - they stay pretty green up here during winter, but it will depend on variety and location.

    To try and resolve the issue, you could buy some  bare root whips to put in between your privet Leif. Take a look at the hedging specialists online to see what evergreens they have left. It would be an inexpensive way to help resolve the issue. Small sizes are best, and they'll soon get going if you feed, water and mulch them well in spring. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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