Ligustrum Undulatum – Box Leaf Privet Hedge
Widely used as a hedge plant Ligustrum Undulatum or Box Leaved Privet, forms an ideal small hedge to 1.5m. A safer alternative to its larger leafed relatives this species has small leaves, grows rapidly and rarely seems to produce seed, thus virtually eliminating its weed potential.
Glossy dark green foliage, fast growing and easy to prune Ligustrum Undulatum can be purchased as tube stock or more advanced plants. Prefering full sun and a humus rich well drained soil Ligustrum Undulatum is frost hardy and well suited to Australian conditions.
As a hedge it is fast growing and dense, it has dark green foliage and although it can be reasonably tall if left unpruned, it is very happy at between around 1 and 1.5m in height. An excellent low growing hedge.
If you are looking for a taller hedge then it is a fast growing alternative to reach up to 3m in height. If you have been watching the grand tour of Italian gardens you will have seen some of these hedges in Northern Italy.
Spacing and Planting distance
One big issue with hedges of all sorts is having them planted to close to a pathway of fence. Although you plant them close together to get a bushy hedge they need some room in front and behind to grow. Now Box leafed privet is no exception.
When planing your hedge allow around 4 plants a metre spacing, so plant at a distance of 25cm between plants. You can stretch this out a little however it will take longer to form that nice tight hedge you are looking for. Give them a distance of at least 40 cm from a fence or pathway.
Care and Planting
Ligustrum Undulatum is a tough easy to care for hedging plant that can be pruned to make a formal hedge along a fenceline, path or driveway.
This is a hardy plant and copes well with a variety of soil types, even poorer soils. However it will be heather and faster growing in a soil that is humus rich and moisture retentive. Having said that this regarded as a drought tolerant plant once established.
- Before planting. Dig the area well and amend the soil with some well rotted compost.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser and mulch to retain moisture.
- Water when establishing and then through the first summer or any dry period.
- Fertilize with a slow release fertiliser in spring and again in autumn.
- Check for soil moisture during dry spells.
Pruning and maintenance
Pruning is best carried out regularly, and although best in spring you can also prune lightly into summer, and if it is growing well again in early autumn (so 3 times a year). When you first plant remember to prune to encourage a bushy habit. As this is a small leafed plant mechanical pruners (electric pruners are OK) can be used.
If you are looking for a taller, narrow hedge you many consider Buxus Graham Blandy