How to Grow Japanese Ligustrum - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Japanese ligustrum is a very versatile plant. It can be used as a hedge, screen, or foundation planting. It is a fast grower and can reach up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. The leaves are dark green and the flowers are white.

How to Grow Japanese Ligustrum - Plant Care & Tips

Alternative name

  • Ligustrum japonicum
  • Wax-leaf privet
  • Japanese privet
  • Tree privet
  • Common privet

Things to Know

  • Japanese ligustrum is a popular ornamental shrub in Asia.
  • It is native to China and Japan.
  • It has been introduced to Korea and Taiwan.
  • It is widely cultivated in other parts of Asia.
  • It is also grown in North America and Europe.
  • Japanese ligustrum is an evergreen shrub.
  • It has glossy, dark green leaves.
  • It produces small, white flowers in summer.
  • The fruits are black, berries which are poisonous to humans.
  • Japanese ligustrum is often used as a hedge plant.

Related plant:
Japanese Azalea Orange

Growing Steps

  1. For japanese ligustrum, first step is to purchase a plant that is suitable for the climate conditions in your area.
  2. The next step is to plant the japanese ligustrum in an area that has well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
  3. Once you have planted the japanese ligustrum, water it deeply and regularly for the first few months.
  4. Japanese ligustrum is a fast-growing plant, so you will need to prune it regularly to maintain its shape.
  5. In the late spring or early summer, japanese ligustrum will produce small, white flowers.
  6. The flowers will be followed by small, black fruits that are poisonous if eaten.
  7. Japanese ligustrum is an evergreen plant, so it will keep its leaves year-round.
  8. In the winter, the leaves of japanese ligustrum may turn brown or yellow.
  9. If you live in an area with cold winters, you may need to protect japanese ligustrum from the cold by mulching around the base of the plant.
  10. Japanese ligustrum is a low-maintenance plant that is relatively easy to grow.

Related plant:
Japanese Mock Orange

Soil Requirement

About soil condition, Japanese ligustrum can grow in sandy loam, loam, or clay soil that is moist but well-drained. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some partial shade, especially in hot summer climates.

About light

Similar to other Japanese ligustrums, the sun light requirement for this plant is at least six hours of full sun per day in order to maintain its compact growth habit. If you live in an area with less sun, you can grow it in partial sun. It will still do well, but it may not be as dense.

Ideal Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for a Japanese ligustrum is one that is warm but not too hot. This plant does not like extreme cold or heat and prefers a moderate temperature. You should also make sure that the plant has enough humidity, as it will not do well in dry conditions.

Humidity Requirement

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 60-70% Ligustrum is a genus of about 50 species in the family Oleaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus includes the type species Ligustrum vulgare, commonly called European privet or wild privet.

Fertilizer Requirement

About fertilizer, this family of plant responds well to organic matter. You can work some compost into the root zone when you plant or top dress with compost in early spring and fall. You can also use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Apply it according to package directions in early spring. These plants are relatively drought tolerant once they are established, but they will benefit from supplemental watering during prolonged dry periods.

About light

Pruning is an important part of caring for a Japanese ligustrum. This type of tree responds well to pruning, so you can trim it to shape as desired. It's a relatively fast grower, so you'll need to prune it every few months to keep it looking its best. Trimming away any dead or damaged branches is the first step. Then, you can shape the tree by cutting back any overgrown branches. Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring.

Plant Propagation

Propagation of Japanese ligustrum is best done by rooting stem cuttings taken from the tips of young, vigorous shoots in late spring. Cuttings should be about 6 inches long and made just below a leaf node. The bottom 2 inches of each cutting should be dipped in root hormone powder and planted in a well-drained potting mix. Be sure to keep the cuttings moist but not wet until they have rooted, which should take four to six weeks. Once rooted, the young plants can be transplanted into the garden.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate are about 10 to 15 inches a year, but there are some that can grow up to 30 inches a year. The plant does best in partial to full sun, and prefers well-drained soil. It is a adaptable plant and can tolerate some drought conditions.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant plants include root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf spots. Root rot is caused by too much moisture in the soil, which leads to the plant's roots decaying. Powdery mildew is a white or gray powdery substance that appears on the leaves and stems of the plant. Leaf spots are small, dark spots that appear on the leaves of the plant.

Growing Tips

  • Make sure to plant your Japanese ligustrum in an area that receives full sun.
  • The plant does well in a wide range of soils, but prefers those that are slightly acidic.
  • Add some organic matter to the planting hole to help the plant establish itself.
  • Water the plant regularly during the first growing season to keep the soil moist.
  • Fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune the plant as needed to keep it looking tidy and to promote new growth.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and treat accordingly if necessary.
  • The plant can be propagated by softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer.
  • Japanese ligustrum can be used in a variety of ways in the landscape, including as a hedge, border plant, or specimen plant.
  • This plant is

Similar Plants

  • Privet (Ligustrum amurense)
  • Texas privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
  • Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense)
  • California privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)
  • Glossy privet (Ligustrum lucidum)
  • Waxleaf privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
  • Tree privet (Ligustrum robustum)
  • Common privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
  • Golden privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)
  • Woolly privet (Ligustrum sinense)

Ligustrum japonicum - University of Florida
Ligustrum japonicum 'Variegatum': 'Variegatum' Japanese Privet1
JC Raulston Arboretum - Our Plants - Ligustrum japonicum 'Little …

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category