Diseases of the privet - all diseases at a glance

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privet hedge

Privet are easy to care for and resistant to, so they are preferred by many gardeners as enclosing gardens. Diseases and pests rarely occur in those belonging to the family of the Rainweiden plants. The greater the helplessness when the ornamental shrubs show leaf spots and changes in appearance. In order to take the right countermeasures, it is important to interpret the type of infestation or infection. Recognized in good time, many diseases and pests can be eliminated without affecting the plants.

Avoid care mistakes

Characteristic of almost all 50 species of Ligustrum are the small leaves and the inconspicuous, white flowers. The blue-green berries, which appear in autumn, serve as a tasty food source for birds and small mammals. Whether as a solitary plant or as an impressive sight-protection hedge: the predominantly Asian ornamental shrubs are undemanding. Only a few requirements have to be met in order for the universally applicable plants to thrive:
  • Avoid dark locations
  • Fertilize in the spring and late summer with compost
  • A liquid or slow-release fertilizer will be given from March to the end of August
  • The substrate must be permeable and deep
  • A radical cutback into the old wood is tolerated
  • Older plants survive longer dry periods easily
  • Evergreen species must also be watered in winter
A minimum of care is needed to promote the resilience and growth of the leaflet. If the plant belonging to the family of the Rainweiden is neglected, this is first visually apparent in the condition of the leaves. A pale discoloration of the foliage is in many cases due to a nutrient supply problem. Privet belongs to the low-consuming plants. You should not do without fertilizer completely. If the leaf color is due to a lack of minerals, you should immediately apply a liquid fertilizer. Do not exceed the dose. Because with the privet the motto is: less is more.
The pale foliage color can also be exactly the opposite and an indication of overfertilization. Stop fertilizing until the plant has fully recovered. In addition to discoloration of the leaves, an excessive dose of nutrients can also be noticeable in the strong growth of the shoots. The branches are barely woody and can take away the light from the plant parts below. Remove the "water shakers" or shorten them sharply.

Prevent root rot

Privet has no objection to a slightly damp substrate. In the case of evergreen species, you should also reach for the watering can during the winter so that the root ball does not completely dry out. It is important to pay attention to the correct dosage. The ornamental shrubs are not water or swamp plants, standing wetness can promote infestation with ascomycetes and cause root rot. But the pathogens from a toxic substance, which decomposes the underground parts of the plant from the inside out. On the surface, this process is perceived as a strong smell. The shoots and leaves hang limp and die.
There are no effective remedies for root rot, which many gardeners fear. Fungicides from specialist retailers bring no relief. Old and young plants are equally affected by the disease. You can only take preventive measures to protect the ornamental shrubs from infestation:
  • Pour in smaller quantities, but more often
  • Mulch the soil regularly
  • Loosen the soil with small pebbles permanently
  • For privet in the tub, apply a drainage to the bottom of the vessel
  • Remove excess pouring water and rainwater from planters

Privet hedge

With a trick, you can try to save small plants in a root rot infection. Transfer the plants to dry substrate. If there are enough intact roots, chances are good that the privet will recover from the disease. Do not cut back infected plant parts.

Leaf spots on privet

Mushrooms do not only threaten the roots of plants. Lack of light and a long-lasting, humid weather can favor the infestation with various types of fungi that attach themselves to the leaves of ornamental plants. The color of the spots varies and depends on the particular pathogen type. From brown, black, to gray and yellow everything is possible. The size of the conspicuous times fluctuates between 2 - 6 mm, the transition is usually fluent. An exact determination of the type of pathogen is only possible by means of a microscopic examination of the fruiting bodies. However, a rough dig can also give the affected area.For example, Cercospora ligustria preferably colonizes the leaf top, while the pathogen Thedgonia ligustrina is predominantly found on the underside of the foliage.
For passionate hobby gardeners, this plays a minor role. Before you take appropriate countermeasures, you should make sure that the leaf spots are not due to pests. Cellular sucking insects, such as aphids and spider mites, can produce similar symptoms on the plants when they eat.
  • Scan the underside of the leaves for the damaged animals
  • An excessively large population of ants on the plant indicates lice
  • Sticky shoots can be caused by the excretions of the pests
  • Aphids often stick to the ramification of young shoots
The disease should be combated with a combination of different remedies. An infestation is not only a visual problem, but can lead to their death in young and weakened plants. Untreated, the fungi overwinter in the dead leaves and spread in the warm spring to other plants.
  • Remove dead leaves and shoots from household waste
  • Pour with diluted nettle broth
  • Avoid fully shaded locations
  • Do not unnecessarily pour over the leaves of Privet
  • A windy place promotes resilience
  • If necessary, apply fungicides from the market
Use gloves while working and disinfect all equipment used. This reduces the risk of infection. An infestation with fungi is persistent and the treatment can last for several months. If the disease recurs every year, you may want to consider completely eliminating the affected ornamental family. As with the disposal of dead leaves you should not throw the shrubs on the compost. There is a risk that the pathogens will spread through moisture and wind.

Pattern on the leaves

If your privet has deformed leaves with peculiar, light green colored patterns, this could be due to viruses. An infection is rare and mainly affects weakened trees.
  • Remove the affected leaves
  • Radically pruning the privet
  • Exchange the substrate generously
An exact determination of the viruses is not possible. In addition, there are no effective countermeasures. Support the resilience of your rain pastures. If the disease can not be stopped, you should think about a complete elimination of the affected plants. Afterwards, replace the soil with fresh substrate and avoid this location as a place for the cultivation of privet in the next 5 to 6 years. By doing so, you minimize the risk that the virus will survive inactive in the soil and infest the next rainforest.

Powdery mildew

Privet shrub

Not only wetness can add to the privet plants. Dryness and heat promote the spread of powdery mildew. This fungus causes a floury deposit on the leaves of the plants. Normally, the disease is hardly noticeable and can not weaken even young plants. With conventional home remedies and simple methods, you can fight the pathogen:
  • Dispose of the affected leaves
  • Keep the substrate moist on hot summer days
  • Spray a mixture of water and whey
Powdery mildew needs living plant tissue to thrive. Cut off leaves and shoots you can therefore safely throw on the compost. Chemicals should be used only in exceptional cases.
Tip: Nitrogenous fertilizers can promote an attack with powdery mildew. Therefore, use different products for the supply of nutrients.


Holes in the leaves or a silvery discoloration of the leaf veins is rarely due to a fungal or viral disease. The cause of these symptoms is more of animal origin. Defective insects literally like privet to eat. Frequently encountered are, for example:
  • Privet leaf wasp (Macrophya punctumalbum)
  • Privet louse (Myzus ligustri)
  • Soft and blind bugs
  • weevil
Large and older plants can rarely be completely affected by the pests. Nevertheless, it makes sense to combat the six-legged pests. In this way you reduce the risk that the insects also attack other plants in the garden. Use the following methods to tackle the beetles and others:
  • Collect larger animals by hand at dusk
  • Pour with stinging nettle and increase the resistance of privet
  • Set up special glue traps
  • Expose animal predators, such as ladybugs and lacewings larvae
  • Wipe off infected shoots and leaves with a damp cloth soaked in vinegar
  • Insert nematodes
Privileg in the bucket you should separate from the remaining plants. Do not dispose of withered leaves and shoots over the garden waste. The parts of the plant may contain eggs and damaged insects.Do not provide the pests with food and promote colonization with natural predators. The eggs for ladybirds, robber bugs and other animal helpers can be found in well-stocked specialist retailers or can be obtained directly from the Internet.
Put on a combination of different methods. For example, with the right care, you can strengthen the resilience of the plants and put on sticky boards, which are mixed with artificial pheromones and attract the pests. Each of these traps works specifically against an insect species. Make sure you set up the right panels.
Tip: Use chemical agents against damaged insects only in an emergency. The products are aggressive and can also harm beneficial animals such as bees, butterflies and bumblebees.
Privet belongs to the most well-known hedge plants. In general, the plant is considered robust and resistant. Nevertheless, the plant is not completely immune from diseases. In order to take the correct countermeasures, the cause of the discoloration or caring growth must first be found. Nursing mistakes are often noticeable in the same form as fungi and diseases. The positive news: Only rarely can viruses and co. Become larger rainforests dangerous.

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