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How to Prune a Golden Privet

By Laura Wallace Henderson
Golden privets require regular pruning.
sécateur de jardin image by YvesBonnet from Fotolia.com

A type of hardy, deciduous shrub, the golden privet enhances yards and landscapes with colorful, yellow foliage. These shrubs grow to a mature height of around 10 feet and a width around 8 feet. Golden privets produce masses of creamy white blossoms in the late spring. Golden privet shrubs grow in a variety of soils, but prefer moist, well-drained mediums. Like many other varieties of ornamental landscape shrubs, golden privets require occasional pruning to keep them maintained, healthy and looking their best.

Prune away any dead or damaged growth on your golden privet shrubs as soon as possible. Disease can spread thorough your entire shrub if you allow unhealthy growth to remain on your plants. Use sharp pruning shears, cleanly cutting the damaged portions an inch or two into the area of healthy growth. Dip your pruning shears into a disinfectant solution that contains one part household bleach to nine parts fresh water. Disinfecting your shears minimizes the chances of spreading unhealthy organisms to the remainder of your shrub.

Shape your shrub in the early spring, once the plant begins to show signs of new growth. Select overgrown stems near the outside edges, as well as overly tall portions along the top of your shrubs. If grown in a hedge, allow the borders of your golden privets to meld together, forming a thick row of foliage. Place a string line along the outside perimeter of your hedge, marking the outside of your desired shape. Prune off any branches that extend beyond the string. Do this on both sides of your hedge. Stand back and view the shape of your privets while you are pruning to ensure even coverage.

Trim off excess shoots near the surface of the soil when your privet shrubs become dormant in the late fall. Once the golden leaves fall from the bushes, look for spreading growth that emerges from the soil near the bases of your parent plants. Although this spreading habit can make your hedges look fuller, it often deters from the rounded shape of singular plantings. Maintain a uniform shape by cutting these new shoots off near the surface of the soil. Check for the re-emergence of these shoots when you perform your regular shaping in the springtime. Keeping these ground shoots clipped eliminates a bushy, overgrown appearance.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Bleach
  • Water

About the Author


Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.