The Q&A Archives: Waxleaf Privet in Arizona

Question: Can Waxleaf Privet survive in Arizona? I am living in Phoenix area where the sun is 118 or 120 degree in Summer ( June, July and August ). If not, any sugesstions for this hot climate for out in my front yard and back yard?
Thank you very much.

Answer: Ligustrum texanum, the Waxleaf Privet is commonly grown in your gardening region, but it grows best in shade, not in full sun. It has glossy dark green leaves and can be used on espalier, shaped as topiary, small patio tree, formal hedge and sight screen. Small white flowers can easily be be sheared off in the spring.

For sunny site, you'll have better success with Abelia floribunda (Mexican Abelia). The graceful arching habit makes it an excellent landscape accent. It's dark glossy green foliage serves well for use as a background shrub, screen, espalier or hedge. Native to Mexico.

Acacia craspedocarpa (Leatherleaf Acacia) is another suggestion. It is an erect, compact shrubby tree-like form with dense canopy of round, thick, leathery gray-green foliage. Useful for a privacy screen, wind break, or background shrub. Native to Australia. Gray-green foliage will often turn a tan color in cold weather.

A final suggestion is Nandina domestica 'compacta', commonly called Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo. This is an attractive compact shrub with soft lacy green foliage. Leaves change to red with cold weather. Can be used as specimen plant, border, or mass plantings. Drought tolerant when established.

Best wishes with your garden!

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