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How to Plant Ligustrum

Ligustrums, or privets, provide an easily trained shrub for hedge and accent plantings. Ligustrum shrubs have glossy evergreen leaves and the plants come in a variety of heights and sizes. Chinese privets produce leaves with cream, yellow and green variegation, while Japanese privets have glossy green leaves. Some varieties, like California privet, produce fragrant flowers in the spring or summer months. Planting the privets in spring just before new growth begins encourages the ligustrums to establish quickly in the bed.

Break up the soil in the shrub planting bed to the depth of the ligustrum's root ball. Remove any old roots or large stones from the planting site.

Dig the planting hole to the same depth as the root ball or nursery container of the shrub. Make the hole twice as wide as the root ball. Space planting holes 2 feet apart for low-growing hedge plantings or 4 feet apart for tall hedges.

Lift the ligustrum from the nursery pot. Set it in the planting hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Plant the ligustrum at the same depth it was growing at in its pot.

Fill the hole around the roots half-full with soil. Water the soil until its thoroughly moistened. Finish filling the hole and water a second time.

Water the ligustrum every five to eight days during the first summer after planting, providing enough water to moisten the soil to the depth of the root ball. Established ligustrums, beginning in the second year after planting, tolerate periods of drought and don't require frequent watering.


Spacing requirements may vary depending on the type of ligustrum. Refer to the plant tag prior to planting to ensure the shrubs are spaced correctly.

Ligustrums tolerate most soil types but grow best in well-drained sites. They require a site that provides partial to full sunlight.

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