Privet

21 Jun, 2021

There are 4 main species of this evergreen shrub in New Zealand, including: tree privet (Ligustrum lucidum), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), Californian privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) and common privet (Ligustram vulgare).

Tree privet and Chinese Privet are generally more of a problem. Both species thrive in a wide range of climates and will tolerate droughts and cold or wet conditions.


The leaves and berries of privet are considered poisonous to humans and most animals. The pollen and scent of the flowers are often thought to increase the chance of respiratory problems such as asthma and hay fever in some people.


Seeds can be dispersed by birds. The plant can displace native plants and can rapidly invade bush margins and waste areas, potentially inhibiting native seed germination.

Physical Control

Pull out young plants before they get too large, as they have a tap root which makes it very hard to pull out as they age.

Chemical Control

Option 1

Cut down trees and immediately apply Cut’n’Paste Bamboo Buster. Apply the Bamboo Buster to the back of the leaves of any regrowth that occurs. Multiple applications may be necessary.


Option 2

For a stronger option use Cut’N’Paste MetGel. However more care should be taken. The active ingredient, Metsulfuron Methyl can spread through the soil and affect other nearby plants.


When using sprays and chemicals always read the label and follow instructions carefully.



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