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Common privet is a close relative of lilac. Its inflorescences are not as attractive, but the shrub is still in demand. It is undemanding to care for, tolerates pruning well, with which you can give the privet the most unusual shapes.
Description of common privet
Common privet belongs to the Olive family. The description says that these are evergreen or deciduous plants. The photo shows that the height of the shrub is on average about 2 m, the crown is spreading, no more than 1 m.In the homeland, trees can reach 6 m. The halo of privet distribution:
- North Africa;
The leaves of the shrub are dense, leathery, dark green on the outside, lighter on the inside. On the branches are located opposite. Panicle-shaped inflorescence, loose, up to 18 cm long. Petals are white. Flowering is long, begins at the beginning of summer and lasts more than 3 months. Throughout this period, the garden is enveloped in a characteristic scent. After flowering, common privet produces small fruits, dark blue or black. There are few seeds in them.
Important! The shrub is grown in the conditions of central Russia without any problems, since common privet is the most winter-hardy species.
Common privet in landscape design
Ornamental trees and shrubs of common privet are widely used in landscape design. Usually they are grown as a hedge, since the crown of the plant is spreading, creating a dense barrier. However, they look good in a single planting or in a group with other evergreen trees.
Recently, bonsai have been grown from privet. The shrub lends itself well to formation, it has flexible shoots and an excellent ability to recover from pruning.
Planting and caring for common privet
Common privet is an unpretentious shrub that grows well in partial shade, but bright lighting is needed for lush flowering. Direct sunlight is contraindicated.
The type of soil for the shrub does not really matter, it develops well in any area. However, experienced gardeners have noticed that in a neutral or slightly alkaline soil, the decorative qualities of privet are especially pronounced.
You can plant and transplant shrubs throughout the growing season, but it is best to plan the work in the first half of autumn. In different regions, the timing may differ, the main thing is to finish planting 2 weeks before the first frost. In the middle lane, this is mid-September - early October.
Seedling and planting plot preparation
The site for planting common privet is prepared in advance. Best just a month before the planned work. The soil is well dug up, cleaned of weeds, enriched with humus, sod soil and sand is added as a baking powder. After that, the landing pits are prepared:
- Their size is one third larger than the root system of the seedling.
- Usually, a pit 65 x 65 cm is made for landing.
- The bottom of the pit is well drained, then it is half covered with nutritious soil mixed with mineral fertilizers.
- The hole is left for a while so that the earth settles.
A seedling of common privet is prepared for planting in different ways. It all depends on the time of year when the work will be carried out. In spring, a shrub is purchased with a closed root system, so it does not need special preparation. In the fall, privet seedlings are sold with open roots, so they need to be properly prepared before planting:
- shorten the shoots by 1/3, cut off part of the roots;
- place the seedling in a bucket of water, where a growth stimulator is added;
- examine the roots, cut dry and damaged.
Before planting, it is necessary to soak the seedlings for at least 8 hours so that the root system is saturated with moisture. It depends on how quickly the shrub will take root in a new place.
Planting common privet
The planting procedure is simple, a seedling is lowered into the prepared hole, the roots are straightened and sprinkled with fertile soil without fertilizers. The soil is well compacted and watered abundantly. So that it does not dry out, it is mulched with a thick layer of humus.
If you need to plant several plants, then leave 60-70 cm between them. For a hedge, the distance is reduced to 40 cm between seedlings. At least 1 m retreat from the buildings.
Attention! For hedges, privet is planted in a trench manner. The width of the trench is 50 cm, the depth is about 70 cm.
Watering and feeding
In the conditions of the middle lane, common privet is grown practically without watering, the bush has enough natural moisture. In arid regions, during the growing season, the soil under the plant will have to be moistened 3-4 times.
The main rule is that watering should be rare, but abundant. The soil must be soaked to the full depth of the roots. One plant consumes 30-40 liters of water. Common privet is especially acute in moisture during the ripening period of berries. This watering is considered to be the last, it is also water-charging.
Top dressing for bushes is applied in early spring, fertilization with humus or compost gives very good results. Granular mineral complexes can be scattered on top, and then embedded in the ground. Further, throughout the season, the common privet can not be fed, but in the fall it can be mulched again with humus.
Loosening and mulching
The roots of the shrub need oxygen, therefore, after each watering or rain, the soil is loosened and freed from weeds. The procedure is carried out carefully so as not to damage the surface layer of the roots.
Soil mulching for privet is necessary in arid regions so that moisture remains in the soil for as long as possible. This is especially true immediately after planting seedlings. In early spring and autumn, mulch acts as a top dressing for the shrub.
Common privet is a fast-growing shrub, so a hedge from it requires regular pruning. This is a simple procedure, even a novice gardener can handle it, especially since the shrub quickly recovers.
The first pruning is done after planting, when the bush grows. The tops need to be pinched to stimulate branching. Pruning is repeated when the shoots grow 15 cm. During the first 2 years, no additional manipulations are needed. At this time, privet is actively growing the crown. Shrub formation is started later. At 3 years of growing, the plant can be given almost any shape.
If the shrub is grown for a hedge, then it must be cut when the shoots reach 50 cm. This is very convenient, especially in winter. Such a plant is easy to cover with snow. In warmer regions, the hedge is trimmed when it grows to 2 m. The hedge should be trimmed in early spring and late summer, usually in May and August.
Advice! Sanitary pruning is done in early spring. Cut dry, broken branches, sick and frostbitten. Healthy shoots are shortened by 1/3.
Preparing for winter
Common privet tolerates short-term frosts down to -30 ° C without shelter. If the frosts are long, then the shrub must be covered in advance. Under the snow, the hedge will survive the temperature drop down to -40 ° C.
Young plants mulch well and cover with spruce branches. Mature bushes are quite resistant to cold weather.
How fast the common privet grows
The description of the shrub indicates that common privet grows very quickly, requires shaping and pruning. The photo shows the subspecies of this plant, which do not differ in growth strength. For example, the Aureum variety with golden foliage. This shrub develops slowly, gives a weak growth in a year, does not need regular pruning.
Reproduction of common privet
It is easy to propagate common privet on your own. After planting, the seedlings grow quickly and do not need special care, varietal characteristics are completely preserved.
The main breeding methods:
- layering method;
- root shoots.
You can try to propagate privet with seeds, but this is a long and tedious process. Their germination is poor, the sprouts develop slowly. And the bush begins to bear fruit at the age of 6 years.
How to propagate common privet by cuttings
Cutting is an affordable and uncomplicated method of breeding privet. Annual green shoots are used, which take root almost 100%. Cuttings are harvested at the end of flowering, strong and healthy branches are chosen. The length of the planting material is 10 cm.The shoots are rooted in river sand, planted obliquely at a distance of 5 cm.
For rooting to be successful, you need to maintain the temperature within + 22 ... + 25 ° С. Air humidity should be at 95%. For this, the plantings are covered with foil. Rooting takes up to 30 days. Further, the cuttings are grown in a greenhouse to an adult state within a year, after which they are transplanted to a permanent place.
Other breeding methods
In the spring, you can get privet seedlings by layering. A branch is chosen from the mother plant, which is tilted to the ground and buried in. You need to mulch the plantings with sphagnum moss so that the soil does not dry out. Over the summer, the shoot will start to grow, and after a few months it will give good roots. You can plant the layers in a permanent place next spring.
Root shoots from the mother plant are dug out in early spring and immediately planted in the intended place. The seedlings must have well-developed roots. During the season, they are looked after like an adult plant.
Warning! Not all types of privet willingly give root shoots.
Diseases and pests
The shrub has natural immunity and rarely gets sick. However, in acidic soil, powdery mildew and bacterial blotch lurk. To prevent this from happening, you need to deoxidize the soil in time, add dolomite flour, lime.
All affected parts are removed from the diseased plant, sprayed with complex preparations. The treatments are repeated several times. In the spring, the bushes can be sprayed with a solution of whey and iodine to prevent powdery mildew.
Of the pests, thrips, aphids, spider mites, and scale insects bother the bush. For prophylaxis, privet is sprayed with Actellik and Fitoverm preparations. Treatments are carried out 2-3 times with an interval of 14 days.
Common privet is a beautiful ornamental shrub that is suitable for growing in a country house or in a city garden. The plant is undemanding, easily multiplies, does not need special care. It is enough to devote a little time to it to admire the flowering and unusually beautiful foliage.