The Q&A Archives: Privet Root Habit

Question: What is the habit of privet roots? I want to plant privet (most likely waxleaf privet) on a slope. I am currently having problems with pepper trees on the slope sending roots into a neighbor's yard. I'm planning on replacing the peppers. Do the privet roots spread or do they stay close to the foliage area?

I would like a 6-8 foot screen from the plants. Your web site says the Ligustrum texanum grows 8-10 feet tall. Are there any full sun, evergreen varieties that are just a little shorter?


Answer: Root depth really depends upon soil type and moisture conditions. Under reasonable growing conditions you can expect to find privet roots in the top 6"-8" of soil, extending out about one and one-half times the diameter of the plant. The roots are not generally thought of as being invasive. Pepper trees, on the other hand, do have invasive roots. You shouldn't have a similar problem with privets. Ligustrum texanum can be pruned and will remain healthy when kept at a 6'-8' height. Enjoy your new hedge!

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