‘Sunshine’ Privet: A Great Accent Shrub and It’s Not Invasive

 

‘Sunshine’ Privet (photo credit: Ball Horticulture)

‘Sunshine’ privet in Kingwood Center in Mansfield, OH

For generations ligustrum (privet) had been a landscape plant in East Coast and Southern gardens. However, in several states,  privets have become declared as an notoriously invasive species . Unfortunately, you should never brand all privet cultivars the same way.

Sunshine privet (Ligustrum sinensis ‘Sunshine’) is likely to change your mind (USDA hardiness zones 6-10). This privet is sterile, e.g. this privet produces no viable flowers or fruits.

It is a long-lived evergreen shrub exhibiting 4-season interest. Its compact nature makes it an ideal choice in small urban gardens. Its golden foliage also tolerates foul city air. Along coastal areas, Sunshine privet is also salt tolerant.

Sunshine privet is a terrific accent plant. Its foliage is strikingly golden year-round. Utilize it in containers, set some out for low hedging, or mass several around as edging along walkways. Again, it will not re-seed into other areas of your landscape.

Unpruned mature plants reach 3-6 feet high and 3-4 feet wide in 10 years. For best color, the golden foliage shines in full sun; it grows in average soil that is adequately drained. Feed in early spring with a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote® or Nutrikote® at package directions. This shrub is also highly drought tolerant after its first season. Freshly installed dark colored mulch makes the Sunshine privet planting a standout.

 

If you are handy with a hedge trimmer, Sunshine privet can be maintained as a short formal hedge, as low as 1 foot tall. I’ve seen it utilized in a garden railroad scene where it was clipped every 2-3 weeks. How about including it in a formal knot or quilt garden.

Sunshine Privet is not troubled by disease and insect problems. In general, privets are not a favorite food of deer, but they will damage plants where  population are high.

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