fyi privet stinks


Old 06-13-08, 09:30 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 834
fyi privet stinks

a while ago I posted a request for a recommendation on a fast growing plant since the county only allows 4' (front) and 6' (back) fence height and I need something to block out the neighbors.

seasons have passed and after countless watering and miraclegro, etc. my privets are only 4' and require pruning while the guy across the street planted bamboo no more than a year ago, I never see him watering or pruning and his stuff's a good 6' tall now.

I'm ripping up the privet and planting bamboo, hope this saves someone else from the same mistake,

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Old 06-13-08, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
What variety of privet did you plant? Depending on variety, height can vary from 4' to 15' or more and 4' to 8' in width. Sounds like you did not purchase the correct cultivar to meet your needs. Had you done your homework, you would have had the right cultivar to meet your height and privacy needs.

Be cautious when choosing bamboo. There are different varieties, and some can be very invasive. Bamboo varieties vary from 1' to 120' in height. Running bamboo can take over a landscape. Underground rhizomes can spread 5' or more in one year. Root barriers are recommended to contain running bamboo. Clumping bamboo is not invasive and may grow an inch a year.
If you live in a cold climate, there are cold hardy varieties.

One should learn to do his homework before purchasing plants for the landscape. There are many cultivars of different plants. It is important to purchase the one that best meets your needs and will do well in your growing environment. It is also important to know the characteristics of the plants and needs for care and maintenance.
Old 06-13-08, 11:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 834
ok so I think I was wayyy out of my league on this whole thing

you're talking about cultivar ... I don't even know what that is

I'm just gonna go the path of least resistance and leave the privet as is

once the wood fence goes kaput I'll replace it with a fast growing bamboo complete with root barrier

Old 06-13-08, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
In my experience, planting bamboo is right up there with planting kudzu. Most are sorry it was planted. Bamboo is harder to eliminate than a bad reputation.
Old 06-14-08, 08:56 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Michael, I looked back and found your original post. I didn't see privet recommended, but it does sound like you planted the dwarf variety.

I agree with the others that bamboo might not be a good choice. Consider Thuja aka Arbrovitae or a variety of holly aka Ilex. With most hollies you will need one male and the rest females so you can have berries. These are named and will be easy to select the males and females. Here's some ideas.
These grow to about 10'.
Ilex 'Mesog' CHINA GIRL

Ilex 'Mesdob' CHINA BOY

These grow to about 8' to 10'.
Ilex x meserveae BLUE PRINCE

Ilex x meserveae BLUE PRINCESS


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