Plant Encyclopedia

Straight Talk Privet

Ligustrum vulgare ‘Swift’

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Straight Talk Privet. Narrow upright shrub with green leaves.

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Privets are one of those classic and durable shrubs that you will want to add to your outdoor space. These varieties can live for many years, and they have the ability to become as large as a house. The Straight Talk privet takes all those great qualities and adds them into a smaller package.

Plant Attributes

This shrub is a quick-growing plant that can still reach some impressive heights, but it does not have a wide width. While it is known for its upright habit and thick foliage, this shrub will produce small, fragrant white flowers in the spring. For that reason, it is the favorite shrub for butterflies and bees. In the summer, the bulbs will be replaced by berries. The Straight Talk privet is both a conversation piece and a stalwart in your garden. If you are looking for something familiar for your outdoor space, you cannot go wrong with this privet.

You can enjoy the lightly-scented white flowers of the Straight Talk privet from late spring to early summer. For the rest of the year, this privet will produce dark green foliage. In the autumn, the glossy oval leaves will not develop into any visible color, but you can enjoy a pop of red in the late summer with the berries.

Landscape Use

The Straight Talk privet is the perfect vertical accent for any type of outdoor landscape. With its compact upright shape, your eyes will be drawn upward in any garden. Since it does not spread out, it will always look well-maintained even if you decide to prune or not. The Straight Talk privet can be added as the main focal point of your borders or garden beds.

This multi-stemmed deciduous shrub will look great in any place that needs a narrow columnar growth habit. Its fine texture will set itself apart from other plants that have less refined foliage and muted colors.

Planting & Care

The Straight Talk privet is drought-tolerant and cold hardy. You can quickly grow it in a wide range of soils. This privet does well in many environments, including urban conditions. This variety of privet will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. You can prune it at any time of the season. This densely branched shrub will produce flowers and berries every year if not pruned to extreme levels. While the privet is durable, it is prone to a condition known as twig blight.

This privet is hardy in zones 4 to 8. Since it is an upright, columnar shrub, this variety is a perfect vertical accent for any landscape, or it can make an excellent screen for privacy. The Straight Talk privet is also cold-tolerant, and it is a great shrub for those colder areas of the country.

When it is fully matured, the Straight Talk privet can grow to a height of 12 feet tall, and it will have a 24-inch spread. This shrub is considered leggy, and it has a one-foot clearance from the ground. For that reason, the Straight Talk privet is a great plant to grow under power lines. Under the right conditions, this privet will live up to 30 years.

The shrub will do its best in partial shade to full sun. It can adapt to both moist and dry conditions. For most homeowners, there will be no issues with these shrubs. While it is not particular to any soil pH or types, it can thrive in areas with levels of environmental salt. The Straight Talk privet will even perform well in stressful environments, including urban conditions.

If you choose to prune this variety of privet, you will want to prune in the dormant season for the initial cutting. After the initial period, you can complete an additional pruning in late May or early June and still expect regrowth.

Additional Information

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Straight Talk Privet


If you are looking for a narrow and upright shrub that works well as a hedge or vertical accent, you will want to choose the Straight Talk privet. This plant is both drought-tolerant and hardy in colder climates. It can also grow in a wide range of soils as it tolerates most environments.

At Arbor Valley Nursery, we carry the Straight Talk privet and many other types of shrubs, trees, and plants. Our team specializes in providing plants for nurseries, commercial landscapers, and garden centers. If you would like to order this privet or have any questions, please fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Brand: First Editions
  • Botanical Name: Ligustrum vulgare ‘Swift’
  • Mature Height: 10 – 12 feet
  • Mature Spread: 2 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Soil Type: Widely Adaptable
  • Moisture: Average
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Flower Color: White
  • Foliage: Dark Green
  • Pollinator Friendly: Yes

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