Privet is one of the hedge classics par excellence. The olive trees are ideal for this purpose due to their dense growth and cut resistance. When looking for suitable privet species, the special properties must always be taken into account. If you’re looking for privet varieties that are hardy and evergreen, a great variety unfolds. The genus Ligustrum can be used in many ways in your own garden.

Evergreen and hardy: 10 privet species

If you are looking for a suitable hedge plant, want to plant voluminous shrubs or pretty trees, you should opt for a privet. The numerous privet species can be used for a wide variety of purposes in the garden and are very popular with gardeners because of the following properties:

  • intense green leaves
  • extremely cut-resistant
  • dense growth
  • robust
  • undemanding
  • usually fast growing
  • decorative flowers
  • provides nesting and hiding places
  • food plant for fauna
  • popular bonsai plant

The numerous species, the genus includes up to 50 taxa, can be used so well because of these properties. Especially species or individual varieties that are hardy or evergreen inspire. The evergreen specimens are particularly popular during the gray winter months, as they add pleasant color aspects to the garden. Finding the right varieties is not so easy due to the great variety. In the coming sections, you will be introduced to 10 privet species and varieties that are hardy or evergreen. Some taxa can even combine these traits.

Hardy privet species

Privet is a genus within the olive tree family (bot. Oleaceae), which is much better known for its hardy varieties. The common privet (bot. Ligustrum vulgare) is particularly important. This has a very good winter hardiness, but loses its leaves over the winter. The common privet is given in most cases as the defining species for the entire genus, especially in terms of characteristics. Clearly green leaves with a waxy surface, growth of up to 120 centimeters per year and use as bee pasture make the common privet one of the most popular hedge plants for a reason . If you want to get to know other privet varieties and species in addition to this species, the following six are recommended:

Busch- privet (bot. L. obtusifoliumregelianum)

This bushy privet is considered a decorative insider tip in the garden, which catches the eye with its abundance of flowers and is suitable as a solitary plant due to its growth in cities. Due to the intense scent of the flowers, this species is very attractive to bees and other pollinating insects. ´

  • Growth height: 200 cm
  • Growth width: 100 to 200 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 20 cm
  • Flower color: creamy white
  • Leaf color: light green
  • Location: Sun to semi-shade, sheltered from the wind
  • good hardy

Gelblaubiger Liguster ‚Vicaryi‘ (bot. L. ‚Vicaryi‘)

If you are looking for a hardy privet with yellow leaves, this variety is ideal as the leaves remain on the plant well into winter and don’t drop until late. Temperatures down to -28.8°C are tolerated and due to the shape this variety is mainly used as a hedge.

  • Growth height: 300 cm
  • Growth width: 200 to 300 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 40 cm
  • Flower color: pure white
  • Location: Sun to semi-shade, sheltered

Goldliguster ‘Golden’ (bot. L. ovalifoilum ‘Golden’)

As the name suggests, this hardy privet is a variety with yellow-green leaves that can even turn golden in summer, giving the variety its name. Like many other hardy privet varieties, the gold privet is a deciduous plant that does not shed its leaves well into winter.

  • Growth height: 180 to 250 cm
  • Growth width: 50 to 120 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 60 cm
  • Flower color: noble white
  • Location: sun to shade
  • vase-shaped growth

Ovalblättriger Liguster (bot. L. ovalifolium)

The oval-leaved privet is a true classic in addition to the usual and the semi-evergreen, hardy plant is immediately recognizable by the oval leaves, which are also quite narrow. The berries of this species are very popular with birds, so don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of singing in autumn and winter.

  • Growth height: 200 to 500 cm
  • Growth width: 150 to 350 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 30 cm
  • Flower color: creamy white
  • Leaf color: grass green
  • Location: sun to shade
  • most prunable type
  • most undemanding kind

Schwarzgrüner Liguster ‚Atrovirens‘ (bot. L. vulgare ‚Atrovirens‘)

The available privet species are always immediately noticeable due to the color of their leaves. This is also the case with the cultivar ‘Atrovirens’, a variety of common privet whose green leaves are streaked with dark accents.

  • Growth height: 250 to 400 cm
  • Growth width: 350 to 400 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 100 cm
  • Flower color: creamy white
  • Location: sun to shade
  • most commonly used hedge privet
  • high leaf density
  • almost opaque
  • resistant to flooding or temporary waterlogging

Zwergliguster ‚Lodense‘ (bot. L. vulgare ‚Lodense)

You can even keep miniature versions of the privet in your own garden, and the dwarf privet is even a hardy specimen. The growth is quite close to the ground and for this reason the strain is often used for planting in difficult corners.

  • Growth height: up to 100 cm
  • Growth width: 70 to 100 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 10 cm
  • Flower color: white
  • Leaf color: deep green to rusty brown
  • Location: sun to shade
  • very popular with bees
  • easily malleable
Note: If you decide to keep your Ligustrum specimens in tubs, they will need additional protection in winter to prevent them from dying. Above all, it is important that the location is not too sunny, otherwise the plants will dry out and in this case watering is sufficient during frost-free times.

Evergreen privet varieties

If you want to have a privet in your garden that will always show off its green foliage, then you should choose an evergreen variety. Compared to the deciduous or evergreen, these never lose their leaves and delight all year round. This is particularly desirable over the winter. In addition, some privet species are popular because of their unique leaf colors. If you want to keep evergreen privet, you should choose one of the following four variants:

Delavays Liguster (bot. L. delavayanum)

This evergreen is one of the most cut-resistant privet species par excellence, preferring a spherical bush or figure of your choice. Sunny places are preferred as well as light winter protection, which makes it possible to keep them in tubs without any problems, as long as the planter is large enough.

  • Growth height: 50 to 200 cm
  • Growth width: 50 to 150 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 20 cm
  • Flower color: pure white
  • Leaf color: dark green
  • Location: sun to shade

Glanz-Liguster ‘High Superbus’ (bot. L. lucidum

The green leaves are shiny and have a yellow edge that gives the Ligustrum a special charm. Thanks to its pruning resistance, you can shape the ‘Excelsum Superbum’ like other privet varieties without any problems and as long as the variety gets a sheltered location over the winter, it will get through the winter without any problems.

  • Growth height: 400 to 600 cm
  • Growth width: 400 to 600 cm
  • Flower color: creamy white
  • Location: sun to semi-shade
  • decorative berries
  • well suited as a topiary
  • Spherical shape popular

Kugel-Liguster (bot. L. jonandrum)

As the name suggests, this evergreen species is often formed into a ball, as this ligustrum grows so densely that you cannot harm it even with ruthless pruning measures. Since it stays quite small, it is well suited for keeping in buckets and in the conservatory during the cold season.

  • Growth height: 100 to 250 cm
  • Width: 50 to 150 cm
  • Growth per year: up to 20 cm
  • Flower color: white
  • Leaf color: green, shimmering
  • Location: sun to shade
  • topiary

White-colored Japanese privet ‘Variegatum’ (bot. L. japonicum ‘Variegatum’)

One of the loveliest privet varieties from Japan is the evergreen and not entirely hardy variegated Japanese privet ‘Variegatum’, whose ovate, elongated leaves are adorned with a thick, white border. The flowers are a real eye-catcher and stand in panicles up to 15 centimeters long, which are often visited by all kinds of insects such as bees and butterflies.

  • Growth height: up to 200 cm
  • Growth width: up to 200 cm
  • Flower color: pure white
  • Location: sun to semi-shade
  • ideal as a solitaire

As you can see, many privets are evergreen. If the species are evergreen, they are mostly varieties that come from warmer climates and are therefore no longer completely hardy. You must take this into account before making your selection.

Tip: The cultivation of these privet species in areas with mild winters, such as the classic wine-growing regions in Germany, is particularly suitable. In these, the plants come through the winter without any problems outdoors or with a little protection and inspire with their permanent green.

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