Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, was originally brought to the U.S. from China for use in ornamental garden plantings. Long used as a hedge in many parts of the southeast, the plant was found to escape cultivation readily. Over time, Chinese privet weeds began springing up in forests and other areas where it has overtaken native plants and become established.
How Chinese Privet Weeds Affect Native Plants
Native plants are particularly important to wildlife, as they provide food and shelter for them and support beneficial insects, pollinators, and birds. These plants adapt to extremes of heat and cold while performing important functions in the ecosystem.
Invasive ornamentals can edge out native plants with their aggressive growth and multiplication. Privet often escapes into pastureland, where it shades out grass and other grazing crops. Therefore, many states have programs dedicated solely to the maintenance and removal of invasive plants like Chinese privet.
Managing Chinese Privet
Getting rid of Chinese privet that’s popped up throughout your landscape is a good place to begin Chinese privet control. There are several ways to do this, according to information from experts on this subject.
Methods of control may be “cultural, preventative, manual, and mechanical removal, biological control, physical controls, and herbicides” or combinations of these.
Total eradication is extremely difficult with well-established plants. Most methods of getting rid of privet require more than one application. Let’s look at some of these controls which are most easily practiced by the homeowner.
How to Kill Chinese Privet
- Don’t purchase or plant Chinese Privet in the landscape.
- Chop existing bushes in spring. Remove all stems, including the suckers. Dispose of it away from your landscape. Ideally, you can burn it. Even a twig or leaf can reproduce.
- Paint with a systemic after chopping.
- Apply a foliar spray with 41 percent glyphosate or triclopyr mixed with oil, allow ten days. Remove the plant and spray root system.
- Mow shoots that persist after plant is removed.
- Repeat chemicals if growth continues.
You can take these steps to rid your landscape of other invasive ornamentals too. Research plants before adding them and try to avoid those that are invasive.