Prune to any size or shape or clip for topiary

Ligustrum is a genus of about 50 species of ornamental flowering evergreen and deciduous shrubs and small, bushy trees, commonly called privets. Although delicate in appearance, privets are tough plants that establish quickly, adapt easily to a wide variety of conditions, and grow vigorously, typically reaching mature sizes between 4 to 15 feet tall, with similar widths. But privets can be pruned to a desired size and shape and are often manicured into a formal hedge or clipped as topiary. They are also commonly grown as container specimens, vertical accents, and screens. Privets bloom in tiny, fragrant white flowers in late spring or early summer. Borne in terminal clusters on slender branches dense with small, glossy leaves, the abundant flowers attract bees and butterflies. A bounty of blue-black berry-like fruits follow, ripening in autumn and persisting through winter, providing songbirds with a tasty snack. For those with allergies, flowerless, allergen-free cultivars are now available.

Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum), California privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), and European privet or common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) are popular species for home gardens. Easy to grow in sunny to partly shady locations, privets are pest, pollution, disease, and deer resistant. Any desired pruning should be done immediately after flowering. Privets are toxic to people and pets and can be invasive in certain regions, especially in the South.