Landscaping & Design/Varigated Privets


Live in DFW area of Texas.  In July planted fairly large Variegated Privets (4-5) to be used as a hedge.  Kept them watered daily on drip lines/bubblers for an hour a day in summer and now by hand in winter.
Problem is they look very barren, yellow, and just not healthy.  Have I been watering too much?  What could be the problem and is it reversible?

Perhaps so.  Variegated privet (Ligustrum sinense) tolerates sun, heat and drought, but is susceptible to root rot in wet or heavy soil when watered frequently, especially an hour a day! Armillaria root rot (Armillaria mellea), also called oak root rot, and can form mushrooms at the base of the canes. Dematophora root rot (Dematophora or Rosellinia necatrix ) invades canes and branches and twigs with white spores. Control irrigation to combat these fungi.  Privates are also susectible to anthracnose, sometimes called twig blight. The disease attacks new shoots causing dieback and leaves, first appearing in brownish spots and eventually spreading across entire leaves.  

Privets are generally a tough plant, and should spring back quickly with reduced irrigation.  Less care is actually "more". Also, the variegation itself is a benign mutation and may at some point revert back to solid green. It is not guaranteed to do that, but jus thought you might want to know.

(info thanks to Laura Reynolds, Demand Media)

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Marc Chapelle, RLA


I am a licensed Landscape Architect. I can answer general questions about style and design, give you ideas and suggestions for site amenities, help with larger site-planning issues, or perhaps give guidance for recreational amenities & park design. IF YOU ARE GOING TO ASK FOR A PLANT SUGGESTION GO HERE: I prefer you ask somebody else why your petunias are not as perky as they should be; I'd LOVE to tell you how those petunias can increase your home's value!


20+ years of working with homeowners, contractors, developers and local civil engineering/architecture firms. I am located in the dry Great Basin area (Greater Nevada/Utah), so the use of landscape materials OTHER than plants is emphasized. As a licensed Landscape Architect I've worked on both the East and West Coasts.


BSLA in Landscape Architecture,Licensed in NV, CA, & VA - but can answer Q's across the country Many additional seminars, educational venues, and classes (both taught & attended)

Awards and Honors
Best Multifamily project, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association Best Model Home Landscaping, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association

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