The Ligustrum (Privet) botanical family consists of many subspecies and cultivars (>50) with a diversity of leaf colors and forms. The Ligustrum is often used for hedging, which can be a source of great (thick trunked) Bonsai material.
The tree is very strong and makes for a popular beginner’s Bonsai. The most common species of privet include the Ovalifoliu (oval leaved), Sinense (Sinensus), Japonicum, Lucidum and the Vulgare (common privet).
If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide.
Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Privet (Ligustrum)
Position: The privet prefers a bright position, with direct sunlight at least part of the day. Although the Ligustrum Bonsai is an outdoor species (it only needs some protection when temperatures drop below -10 degrees C (14F)), it is also sold as indoor tree (in this case the tree should be placed inside during the winter).
Watering: Normal watering is fine.
Feeding: Use a normal Bonsai fertilizer about once every three weeks during the growth season.
Pruning: Style the tree in early spring, before it starts growing. Normal maintenance pruning can be done anywhere in the growth season.
Repotting: Repot Privet Bonsai trees every one or two years using a basic Bonsai soil mixture.
Propagation: Use cuttings during the summer or plant seeds.
For more detailed information on these techniques, try our Bonsai tree care section.
Example of a Ligustrum (Privet) Bonsai tree