When is the best time to prune privet?

When is the best time to prune privet?

Privet is very easy to cut

If you want to grow an opaque privet hedge in the garden, you cannot avoid regular pruning. This starts right after the planting time and has to be repeated up to three times a year, especially in the first few years.

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Only if you prune back the privet frequently will the branches branch out well so that the hedge becomes opaque.

  • Radically cut back in spring
  • if necessary, taper cut in spring
  • cut into shape in August
  • only cut young privet in autumn
  • choose a conical shape for hedges
  • Note the breeding and setting times

Pruning privet in spring

The pruning in spring can be very strong. Cut the privet back by one to two thirds. The more you cut, the more it will sprout again later.

But be careful not to remove all of the shoots that are bearing flowers. The flowers are a good source of food for bumblebees, butterflies and other insects.

Topiary in August

In August you are primarily concerned with the topiary. Remove individual branches. Now is also the best time to cut a privet into a special shape, such as a ball.

Autumn pruning only when the privet is very young

In autumn, you should only prune very young privet hedges. Usually the new shoots can no longer mature in time and freeze to death in cold winters.

However, if you have chosen autumn as the planting time, you will have to use scissors and prune the privet very hard. Only then can it branch out well later.

Rejuvenation pruning in old privet hedges

Older privet hedges tend to shed over time. The shrub then no longer receives enough light in the lower regions and hardly forms any side shoots or leaves there.

To rejuvenate a privet hedge, cut it back to stick in the spring. That means you'll radically trim the top and sides down to the trunk.

That won't harm the privet. It is so fast-growing that the new shoots will soon cover the bald spots.

Note the breeding and setting times!

In most municipalities, you are not allowed to prune a hedge heavily from April to July to avoid disturbing birds that nest in it.

You can shorten individual shoots, but you should check beforehand whether there is a nest in the privet.


Basically, you can plant privet at any time, as long as the soil is sufficiently moist and not frozen. The best time is spring or autumn. If you choose summer as the planting time, you need to water sufficiently for the privet to grow.