Ligustrum vulgare

Common Privet Bonsai

Native to Europe and south-western Asia. A common species used for hedging gardens, ligustrum is a genus with a proven track record of making beautiful bonsai. It is an easy species to grow and a hardy deciduous that can be trained comfortably by beginners.

Common Privet Bonsai Care Tips

In temperate climates, the common privet is reliably hardy and needs no special winter protection. It can be kept in full sun during the summer. 

From spring to autumn, common privet requires watering regularly. Between each watering, the surface of the soil must be allowed to dry. During the winter, the soil must kept moist. 

Two applications for this species of moderate appetite – one during the spring and one in late summer – use a general fertiliser. 

This fast-growing and vigorous species is best pruned in the summer but can take place any time across the year. During the growing season pinching out new shoots should be done consistently. Robust pruning can include cutting back to the trunk, this specimes cuts heal fast. 

Wiring applies to the branches at any time of the year. They should not be left in the plant for longer than a season only wire shoots that have been formed in the current season. We recommend using wires with a thickness that matches the thickness of the branch: if the wire you choose is too thick you will damage the bark. If it is too thin, it won’t be effective.

Repotting your tree is an important way to provide a fresh and suitable soil mix and ensure appropriate root health. If the roots become pot-bound, repot your Common privet every year at the start of spring. Otherwise, repot every other year in early spring.

Trees that are ready for repotting will require root pruning, a suitable new pot and appropriate soil mix.

When repotting, do not cut back the root mass by a large amount, and choose a well-draining soil mix that has a neutral or slightly higher PH value of 5-6 but not over 7. We tend to use a mixture of different speciality bonsai soils on our trees. Every species is different so please contact us for free soil-mix advice or to take advantage of our repotting service.

The Ligustrum genus consists of over 50 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs. Popular across Europe and common in the UK, privet has been widely used for hedging gardens. A popular bonsai for its ease of care is the Chinese Privet. Beautiful miniature trees can be made of this horticultural staple. 

Bonsai trees aren’t only magnificent additions to an indoor oasis, they are more than capable of standing out in any garden. Many Bonsai species are incredibly hardy and withstand nature’s colder and damper turns with aplomb making them worthwhile outdoor plants. We have an extensive library of care guides for outdoor bonsai trees. It’s not about selecting the perfect bonsai, it’s about selecting the perfect bonsai for you. 

Common Privet Bonsai - Typical Queries

Common privet are susceptible to both aphids and scale. An insecticide may be necessary if picking off by hand isn’t an option.

Common Privet can be propagated with both cuttings and air layering. While propagating by seeds is possible it takes a long time to show growth so this may not be desirable for some. 

While Ligustrum is sold by many as indoor bonsai, this species Ligustrum vulgare is hardy to temperate climates and appreciates full sun.