Golden Privet

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Golden Privet - Ligustrum

Golden Privet is a striking shrub with yellow, conspicuous leaves. The tree grows tall and wide, which makes them perfectly suited to hedges. For a natural, beautiful effect, leave them untrimmed as these shrubs are at their best when they look slightly untamed. Prune them in late winter or early spring, and prune them only to remove their dead leaves or branches. Their wild beauty extends year-round: golden-yellow leaves most of the year and purple-red foliage in the fall.

In the spring, they bloom with clusters of white flowers and blueberries. They grow 8-10 feet, perfect size if you’d like to screen off your garden to passers-by. You can use them as hedges or place individual plants sparingly in an urban or country garden. For landscaping, consider contrasting their bright yellow foliage with white or red flowers.

Golden Privets do need care. Water them weekly or when the top three inches of soil are dry. If heat is extreme, they will need more watering. If they’re along a humid coast, they will need less watering. Feeding time for the Golden Privet is in early spring. This is when you should apply a slow-release fertilizer. Golden Privets can tolerate a variety of soils but adding fertilizer will help maintain the plant’s bright foliage. To see Golden Privets at their strongest, keep them away from shade as they do like full sun.

Watch for fungal leaf disease, evidenced by discolored blotches on the leaves. Also keep an eye out for thrips, an insect that eats the plant’s leaves. If thrips are eating your plant, you’ll see the leaves dotted with dark excrement. Spray the plants with a water hose to get rid of the pesty insects. You can also spray the foliage with insecticidal soap or narrow-range oil.

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