Fertilizing Privet Hedges

Fertilizing Privet Hedges: Correct Procedure And Timing

Privet hedges protect against unwanted looks. We show when, how, and with what to fertilize your privet properly so that it grows bushy and dense.

The privet ( Ligustrum ) is popular as a hedge plant or as a topiary because it is robust, green even in winter, and wonderfully easy to cut. The semi-evergreen shrub thrives in loose, humus-rich soil without additional fertilization. But if you want to promote healthy and strong budding, you should regularly add nutrients, especially nitrogen, to the soil. This is especially important when planting a privet hedge. Because the plants not only compete with each other for nutrients but also with the adjacent greenery. The pruning also costs the plants a lot of strength and is tolerated much better if the fertilization is correct. In this way, the plants sprout more and quickly form many new leaves.

As a hedge, plants are very dense and therefore have little privacy in the root area. As a result, disputes quickly arise about the nutrients available in the soil. Especially if your hedge is adjacent to a lawn, the plants quickly compete for nutrients. You should therefore provide your privet hedge with sufficient amounts of these at least once a year. This ensures healthy and rapid growth and prevents the formation of brown spots in the surrounding lawn. We will explain the right time to fertilize and help you choose the most suitable fertilizer.

Privet hedge: when is it best to fertilize?

If privet is planted on poor, depleted soil, fertilization should not be missing. To do this, you should mix well-ripened compost into the soil. This means that your privet will be well taken care of from the start and will grow faster. This also applies if you use bare-rooted planting material instead of balled material.

Fertilizing privet hedges: correct procedure & timing

Whether you fertilize your privet hedge once or twice a year in the following years depends on the choice of fertilizer. If you use a slow-release fertilizer, basic fertilization in the spring before the first budding in March / April is sufficient. Mineral fertilizer variants are usually available for the plant immediately and for a short time in the soil. So that these nutrients can be used to the maximum extent by your privet hedge, fertilization is carried out twice a year – corresponding to the two growth spurts.

The fertilization always takes place at the end of April and the beginning of August a few weeks before these attacks, because this is where the roots start to grow. This is how the given nutrients are most effectively absorbed by the plant. The pruning at the end of February and in autumn is also based on this budding cycle. Therefore, one can also orientate oneself on this when fertilizing. If fertilization takes place shortly before or after pruning, the plants can better recover from the stress of the pruning and grow back faster.

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At the end of August, you should treat the plants to autumn fertilization with a potash fertilizer. The potassium supports the hardening of newly formed shoots and makes the plant less susceptible to frost damage.

Privet hedge: how and with what fertilize?

Privet hedges can be wonderfully supplied with fertilizers for conifers or evergreen plants. They are not particularly demanding when it comes to the composition of their food, but they do need a high proportion of nitrogen. This is important for the development of shoots and leaves. Fast-growing plants like privet, in particular, need a good amount of it. Otherwise, it will take time for the plants to form opaque hedges. If a mineral fertilizer is used, the fertilization times must be meticulously adapted to the growth rhythm of the plants.

It is easier to use organic slow-release fertilizer because this is only applied once a year in spring before the first budding. With an organic fertilizer, however, it is not only easier to choose when to fertilize. Mainly organic fertilizers are produced in a significantly more resource-saving manner than the mineral variants. Nevertheless, they offer a sufficiently high proportion of nitrogen. In addition, the groundwater is less polluted because the nutrients are stored in the soil and not washed away with the irrigation water.

Fertilizing privet hedges: correct procedure & timing

Privet plants are very tolerant of soil pH. They grow in soil with a pH between 5 and 7.5 but prefer something more alkaline than acidic. Therefore, if necessary, adjust the soil pH value by adding lime in autumn. This is recommended for sandy soils with a value below 6 and loamy soils with a value below 6.5. Simply mix crushed eggshells under the soil.

Organically fertilize privet

With organic fertilizers, the nutrients are in complex form. They are therefore stored in the soil and slowly decomposed by microorganisms in the soil over time. Only in this way are the nutrients released and available to the plant. On the one hand, this means that you support a healthy soil life with the choice of fertilizer, as happy earthworms ensure loose and air-permeable soil. This in turn benefits your hedge, because privets are very sensitive to waterlogging. On the other hand, over-fertilization can thus be almost completely ruled out.

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Simply leave the fallen leaves under the hedge. The mulch layer provides the plants with an additional supply of magnesium and phosphate during decomposition. It also serves the root area and small animals as ideal protection against the cold temperatures of winter. In addition, the mulch layer offers protection from drying out and also from annoying weeds. Besides, who likes to rake leaves? Alternatively, you can also use bark mulch, lawn clippings, cuttings, or the like as a mulch layer. However, never use mulching as a basic supply for your privet hedge. Because this offers too little nitrogen. In addition, the microorganisms that break down the mulch also remove this important nutrient from the soil.

Organically fertilize privet: instructions

Despite the low risk of over-fertilization, correct dosing and application are also important for organic long-term fertilizers to make nutrient uptake effective and beneficial. That is why we have put together a brief overview of the application of organic universal fertilizer for you. This consists almost exclusively of organic components in organic quality and thus protects the environment and plants.

Organic universal fertilizer protects the environment and optimally supplies the privet with nutrients

  1. Before planting, work 100 – 150 g / m² (well-filled 0.2-liter jar) of organic universal fertilizer into the upper soil layer
  2. Pour the soil and freshly planted privet hedge well so that the granules can dissolve well
  3. With maintenance fertilization in spring, you should fertilize another 80 – 120 g / m² (0.2-liter jar) per plant

Fertilize privet minerally

With most mineral fertilizer variants, the nutrients are available to the plant immediately and only for a short time. That is why blue corn and co. Are given twice a year, adapted to the growth cycle. In this way, the plants can use the nutrients to the maximum extent. Work blue grain or other mineral fertilizers in granulate form superficially into the soil and then pour vigorously.

Otherwise, the nutrients cannot be absorbed or there may even be burns in the root area because these fertilizers are highly concentrated. Therefore, you should also pay attention to the dosage recommendations on the fertilizers. Otherwise, you run the risk of overfeeding your privet. Instead of a lush green hedge, an unsightly brown appears. A more gentle method is the combination of mineral fertilizer and compost. This reduces the risk of over-fertilization and at least some of the nutrients are gently and long-term released into the soil.

Fertilizing privet hedges: correct procedure & timing

So that your privet hedge survives the winter well, you can fertilize with patent potash in autumn. This mineral fertilizer provides your plants with potassium. This ensures that newly formed shoots lignify before the frost. The fertilizer also contains magnesium, which is particularly important for evergreen plants: it supports the formation of chlorophyll, the green leaf pigment. But magnesium is not only important for appearance. The autumn fertilization makes the plants more resistant to diseases and pests. You should apply about 40 grams of patent potash per square meter. In general, however, we recommend fertilizing with organic long-term fertilizers.

Fertilize privet with compost, horn shavings, and the like

Since privets do not have extreme demands on their nutrient supply, fertilization with a mixture of compost and horn shavings is sufficient once a year. Make sure, however, that you only use well-ripened compost, as the decomposition process removes nitrogen from the soil – as with mulching – through microorganisms. However, since the nitrogen content is not high enough in matured compost, horn shavings should be added. These are true nitrogen bombs and thus support the growth of the shoots and leaves of your privet. Three liters of ripe compost are mixed with 100 grams of horn shavings per square meter. The mixture is worked into the upper layer of soil in the root area. Then spread a thin layer of soil over the fertilized area. This supports the decomposition of the organic material and thus the release of nutrients.

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Fertilize the privet in the pot

Non-hardy species, mostly ornamental species from Japan or China, are often cultivated in pots. Due to the small volume of soil, regular fertilization is recommended here. From March to the end of August you should fertilize with liquid fertilizer in the irrigation water every two to three weeks. Alternatively, you can fertilize with compost and horn shavings in spring. However, since spreading is a bit difficult, this variant is only recommended if you are repotting your privet.

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