Ligustrum delavayanum – topiary ball
Ligustrum delavayanum, Delavay Privet, is an evergreen shrub with small ovate dark leaves extensively used as a hedge or shaped in various topiary forms in British gardens.
It features white creamy flowers in summer with a rather unusual scent, followed by black berries in autumn.
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Ligustrum delavayanum originates in Asia, from a family comprising of more that 50 species. It became popular really fast beginning of the 20th century and it’s extensively used as a hedge or topiary in Australia and Europe. The popularity of the Privet as hedge grew during the World War II in the UK when iron gates and railings were requisitioned for ammunition manufacturing.
The common name Privet, is sometimes attributed to Pliny the Elder, as far back as the 1st century, however more recent research cannot conclude on the origin of the name, with some scholars suggesting that it may originate from the word ‘private’.
Some species of Privet are studied for their medicinal properties in reducing inflammation.
Care & Size Guidance
Ligustrum delavayanum are the perfect plants to add to a sunny patio or a neatly arranged garden. They are perfectly shaped in balls propped at the top of skinny trunks, almost like floating balls of greenery.
It’s recommended to be planted in well draining soil, in a full sun or part shade situation. They are also perfect to be kept permanently in containers.
Pruning is required periodically during the growing season to keep the plant’s shape and to encourage a thicker crown.
Plants in containers should be watered more frequently, especially during dry spells. The soil should remain moist at all times. Top dress the planting containers with bark chippings or underplant with ground cover plants to lock in the moisture in the soil.
Fertilise during the growing season with a balanced fertiliser according to instructions.