Growing Wax Leaf Privet

By Elizabeth Hannigan , last updated January 21, 2012

Wax leaf privet is a popular ornamental shrub grown across the United States. Also known as Japanese privet, wax leaf privet is recognizable by its sweetly scented, white, funnel-shaped flowers. These tiny flowers grow in terminal, pyramid-shaped clusters that eventually turn into droopy clusters of black, seed-bearing berries. The leaves of the wax leaf privet are small and lancelet-shaped. They grow to about two inches long and are dark green on the top and pale green on the underside. Some types might exhibit white or yellow marbling. Wax leaf privet should not be confused with Chinese privet, which is a noxious plant.

Wax leaf privet is easy to transplant from a container into your garden. The plant is tolerant of sun and shade, as well as all types of soil and even salt spray. The only thing you need to beware of is soggy soil. Find a spot with fast-draining soil, or your wax leaf privet could die. You can expect your wax leaf privet to top out at about 12 feet tall, so think about planting it along the border of your garden as a privacy barrier.

To plant your wax leaf privet, dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Mix the soil you dug up with compost and fill it back up halfway. Place the root ball gently in the hole and fill it with a mix of soil and compost. The top of the root ball should be just barely covered. Water your wax leaf privet well and it should take to your garden fairly quickly and require little work.

Wax leaf privet is tolerant of severe pruning, but most gardeners find this unnecessary. Since wax leaf privet should grow to just about the right height for a privacy hedge, you can reserve pruning for dead or diseased branches, plus slight trims to keep the hedge looking neat.

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