Privet Ligustrum vulgare

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
wild privet


The plant known as privet is a species known for its dense, semi-evergreen foliage, which is often used to form hedges and privacy screens in landscaping. The leaves of the privet are small, glossy, and oval-shaped with a slightly pointed tip, exuding a rich green hue that can bring a lush appearance to any garden setting. During the late spring to early summer, the privet bursts into action, producing clusters of small, fragrant white flowers that are attractive to bees and butterflies. These blooms can add a subtle, sweet scent to the air and provide a visually appealing contrast against the dark green leaves. Following the flowering period, the privet bears small, spherical berries that usually display a bluish to blackish color when ripe. These berries are a source of food for birds through the winter, though they are considered poisonous to humans and pets. The plant's overall form is compact and dense, which can be shaped in topiary form or grown as a natural screen. The bark of the privet is smooth, adding another textural element to its appearance. Despite its utility in gardens, privet is also known for its hardy and invasive nature in some regions, where it can spread beyond cultivated areas into the wild.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Wild Privet, Common Privet, European Privet.

    • Common names

      Ligustrum angustifolium, Ligustrum boehmeri, Ligustrum coriaceum, Ligustrum gouinii, Ligustrum laurifolium, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Ligustrum oleaceum, Ligustrum tenuipes, Ligustrum vulgare var. italicum, Ligustrum vulgare var. nanum, Ligustrum vulgare var. sieboldianum, Ligustrum wallichii, Olea perrottetii.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters)

    • Spread

      6-12 feet (1.8-3.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape aesthetics: Ligustrum vulgare, commonly known as common privet, is often used for hedging due to its dense foliage and ability to withstand heavy pruning, which contributes to the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Privacy screen: The thick growth habit of common privet makes it an effective natural barrier, offering privacy for residential and commercial properties.
    • Wildlife habitat: Its dense foliage provides shelter and nesting sites for various bird species, while its flowers attract pollinators like bees and its berries serve as a food source for birds.
    • Erosion control: Common privet's root system helps to stabilize soil and combat erosion, particularly on slopes and in areas prone to soil degradation.
    • Durability: This plant is hardy and can thrive in a variety of soil types and conditions, making it a practical choice for gardeners and landscapers.
    • Variety of uses: Beyond hedging, common privet can be used in topiary, as it responds well to shaping, and can also serve as a background plant in mixed borders or as a standalone shrub.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Ligustrum vulgare has been traditionally used for its potential anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains phenolic compounds that may impart antioxidant effects.
    • Diuretic: It has been reported to have diuretic properties, increasing the excretion of urine.
    • Hepatoprotective: There is some evidence to suggest that it may offer liver-protecting benefits.
    • Immunomodulatory: It might have effects on the immune system, potentially modulating immune responses.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ligustrum vulgare, commonly known as common privet, is often used as a material for wood carving due to its fine grain and ease of workability.
    • Common privet hedges can provide habitats for wildlife, including nesting sites for birds and shelter for beneficial insects.
    • The dense foliage of common privet can be used for creating intricate topiary designs in formal gardens.
    • In rural areas, common privet branches can be woven into durable baskets and other crafts for household use.
    • The wood of common privet can be utilized to make small implements such as tool handles, owing to its hardness and resilience.
    • Common privet leaves have historically been used to create a yellow dye for textiles, although this use is less common today.
    • When privacy is not a concern, the plant can be left to flower and produce berries, providing a food source for birds and other wildlife.
    • The dense wood of the common privet is sometimes used to make charcoal for drawing and other artistic uses.
    • During traditional woodcraft, common privet wood shavings and sawdust can be repurposed as mulch for garden beds.
    • Some people use the robust branches of common privet to construct natural trellises for climbing plants in ornamental gardens.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Common Privet is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Common Privet is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection - Ligustrum vulgare, commonly known as common privet, has been traditionally used in hedging, which symbolizes a barrier or protection for gardens and homes.
    • Privacy - Due to its dense foliage when used as a hedge, common privet represents the idea of privacy and the need to shield one's space from the outside world.
    • Boundaries - The common privet's function as a natural fence often stands for setting and respecting boundaries.
    • Resilience - This plant is known for its hardiness and the ability to thrive in various conditions, symbolizing resilience or the ability to endure challenging situations.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring to summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) should be watered deeply but infrequently, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Typically, watering once a week with 1 to 1.5 gallons per plant will suffice, depending on the soil type and weather conditions. During hot and dry spells, it might need water twice a week. It's essential to reduce watering during the fall and winter when the plant is dormant. The best method is to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to provide a slow and thorough soaking to the root zone.

  • sunLight

    Common privet thrives best in full sun to partial shade. It should be planted in a location where it receives at least four to six hours of direct sunlight daily. However, it can tolerate light shade and will still grow well with filtered sunlight throughout the day. Avoid locations that are deeply shaded as this can impact the plant's growth and foliage density.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Common privet is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making it well-suited for various climates. It can survive winters with temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit but may suffer foliage damage at this extreme. The ideal growing conditions fall between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, where the plant can thrive without stress. It is important to protect young plants from frost and extreme cold.

  • scissorsPruning

    For common privet, pruning is necessary to maintain shape, encourage denser foliage, and remove any dead or diseased branches. It is best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. Prune up to one-third of the oldest stems to invigorate the plant, and trim back additional growth to shape the privet as desired. Privet can be pruned again in the summer if necessary to maintain a tidy appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Common Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) thrives best in well-drained loam soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. A mix of two parts garden soil, one part sand, and one part compost or well-rotted manure will create an ideal environment for its roots. Good drainage is crucial, and the soil should be kept moderately fertile.

  • plantRepotting

    Common Privet should be repotted every two to three years to refresh the soil and accommodate its growing root system. Younger plants may require more frequent repotting, whereas mature plants can be repotted less often.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Common Privet is adaptable to a range of humidity levels, preferring moderate conditions but tolerating both lower and higher humidity environments. No specific humidity level is required for the healthy growth of this robust, versatile plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Common Privet in bright, indirect light and avoid overwatering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, and water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Commonly known as Wild Privet, Ligustrum vulgare starts its life cycle from a seed, which germinates in the presence of warmth and moisture, usually in spring. After germination, the seedling emerges, developing into a juvenile plant with a basic structure of leaves and stem. As it matures, Wild Privet grows into a woody shrub, which can reach up to 2 to 3 meters in height, and develops a dense network of branches. The plant reaches reproductive maturity within a few years, producing small white flowers in terminal panicles during the summer, which are pollinated by insects. After pollination, it bears small, black-purple berries that ripen in late summer to autumn, containing seeds that are dispersed by birds and other animals. The life span of Wild Privet can extend several decades, during which it may undergo periods of dormancy in colder climates, typically shedding leaves in winter before regrowing them in spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Common Privet, scientifically known as Ligustrum vulgare, can be propagated most effectively using semi-hardwood cuttings. This method typically takes place in the late summer, when the current season's growth has begun to mature and harden slightly. To execute this manner of propagation, a gardener would take a cutting approximately 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long from a healthy specimen, ensuring it has several leaves. The lower leaves are removed, and the cut end of the stem is often dipped in a rooting hormone to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then placed in a potting mix that drains well, ensuring that the leafless part of the stem is submerged. The cutting needs to be kept in a warm, humid environment until roots develop, which can be helped by covering the pot with a plastic bag to retain moisture. After a few weeks to a few months, once the cutting has established roots, it can be transplanted to a more permanent location.