How to grow a privet hedge

Updated April 17, 2017

Privet hedges are fast growing shrubs. Planting a privet hedge around your property will provide privacy and add beauty to your yard. There are two different varieties of the privet. One is deciduous and the other is an evergreen. If you want privacy year round, then the evergreen is the one to plant. Deciduous privets loose their leaves during the winter. The privet isn't too fussy about the soil and once established, they will grow well in wet or dry conditions. They do like sunny places, but will tolerate shade.

Plan where you want your privet hedge to grow. Measure the area so you will know how many privets you need. Figuring on one planted every 12 inches, it is also a good idea to plant them 18 inches inside your property line. This is also the correct spacing if going around a sidewalk, wall or driveway.

Spring is the best time to plant your new privet hedge. Before you plant, it is a good idea to prepare the soil. Remove any grass or weeds growing there. You can do this with a shovel, or a tiller, if available. Dig down at 2 to 3 feet, breaking up any large clumps of dirt. Once you have the area prepared, you are ready to plant. With a shovel or spade, dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the container pot. If you purchased bare-root plants, then dig the hole twice as deep as the taproot and twice as wide as the side roots.

Fill the hole with water, allowing it to drain naturally. If you have bare-root plants, fill a bucket of water and put the privet roots inside the bucket. Allow them to soak for at least an hour before planting. To the bottom of the hole you dug, add some blood and bone meal, mixing it with some of the soil. Remove the privet from the pot and tease out the roots if they are root-bound. Place the root ball in the hole and fill the hole half way with soil or compost. Firm the soil around the roots. Add the remaining soil and firm down. Make a ring or a ridge of soil around the base of the hole. Each time you water, the water will stay within the ring and not run away into the rest of your lawn.

After you have planted four to six privets, begin to water them. Use light water pressure so the water will have a chance to soak down. Move the hose to each plant so they get a good drink. Do this with every privet. When you have all the privets planted, water every other day for the first two weeks. After that, you can begin to taper off on the watering, as their roots begin to grow.


Your privet can reach a heights of 4 to 15 feet and it will spread from 4 to 8 feet. To keep your privet hedge bushy, prune four to five times during the course of the summer. The first time to prune them is right after they have flowered. If left untrimmed, little berries will form on the plants, making it an ideal feeding place for birds and other animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Privet plants
  • Shovel or spade
  • Tiller
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Bone and blood meal
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About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.