Plant Profile – Privet (Privet Ovalifolium)

Privet Ovalifolium

Common Name: Californian Privet, Common Privet


Privet Shape & Size
Final Height:  300cm
Final Spread:  300cm
Growth Rate:  Moderate / fast
Type:  Formal Hedge / Medium sized shrub.
Habit: Oval, dense canopy

Privet Features:

Foliage: Evergreen / Semi – evergreen
Colour:  Glossy green all year round. Can loose its leaves in harsh winters. New foliage appears the following spring
Shape: Simple. Oval leaves.

Privet Flower: Long clusters of  flowers appear in late summer
Colour: Creamy White
Time: July / August
Fragrance: Pungent / unpleasant smell
Berries: After flowering, small black fruit appear

Privet Location
Uses: Often grown to form a formal hedge. Great as for screening and privacy, especially in urban areas as privet is very tolerant to frost. Also grown to create topiary as foliage canopy is quite dense
Aspect: Full Sun / Partial Shade / Coastal areas
Soil: Well Drained / Light & Clay Soils
pH: Alkaline / Acidic
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Companion plants: Forms a nice backdrop to all colourful herbaceous plants

Privet Information
Privet is native of Japan and is now one of the most common hedging plants grown in front gardens in Ireland. Its benefits include it’s fast growth rate, is tolerance to pollution and also its dense canopy given you a quick and reliable screen and privacy for your garden. In terms of maintenance, it would be suggested that you cut back privet hedges twice a year to maintain a dense and neat form. Best if pruned in early spring and again immediately after flowering. However you can prune any time as the flowers are considered unpleasant and pungent and the berries that follow are some what poisonous to eat.

Privet is most commonly sold as bare root plants as this is the most cost effective way to supply, store and transport large quantities of the plants. If you intend on growing bare root privet make sure that you handle the plant’s roots with care and unsure plants are kept  moist at all times