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How to propagate privet

Updated March 23, 2017

Privet is part of the ligustrum family. common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) is native to Britain, however, this is not the privet most widely used in this country. The suburbs of the UK are dominated by the oval leaved privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium). While privet can be started from seeds, the easiest and fastest method of propagating privet is by cuttings. Most privets are grown as hedges or property boundaries due to their tightly packed bright green leaves. All privets, regardless of variety, can easily be propagated in the same manner -- by cuttings. Propagation by cuttings is generally done in late spring or early summer, right after the first new growth is in full swing.

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  1. Cut off approximately 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches) from the tip of a new-growth branch. Strip the leaves off the bottom 15 cm (6 inches) of the cutting.

  2. Fill a 20 to 30 cm ( 8 to 12 inch) deep growing pot with potting soil and poke a 15 cm (6 inch) deep hole in the soil with a pencil.

  3. Dip the cut end of your cutting in water and then dip it into a growth hormone powder, available at any nursery or home improvement centre. Carefully insert the hormone-covered end of the cutting into the hole you made in the potting soil with your pencil. Gently press the soil around the cutting.

  4. Water the soil, getting it damp but not soggy and then place the pot with its cutting inside a large clear plastic bag, which will act as sort of a greenhouse, holding in moisture and humidity.

  5. Place the bag-covered growing pot in a bright and warm location—15.6 to 23.9 degrees Celsius (60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) -- but out of direct sunlight, for two months, or until new growth is seen on the cutting.

  6. Remove the plastic bag and place the cutting where it can receive direct sun for at least six hours each day as soon as new growth appears. Keep the soil damp but not soggy.

  7. Plant the cutting in the ground the following spring. To form a hedge, cuttings should be planted 1.5 m (5 feet) apart.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Rooting hormone
  • Growing pot
  • Potting soil
  • Pencil
  • Water
  • Plastic bag

About the Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.

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