I visited my daughter who lives in Augusta, Georgia, during the Christmas holidays to help her landscape her new house. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the garden center, picking out great plants that would perform well in her landscape.
The best of what we bought that day in December was the Sunshine Ligustrum.
This shrub is an evergreen, which really is quite funny to say because the foliage is the most beautiful golden-yellow color. We planted a grouping of these shrubs along the front porch just under the white railing.
As the name suggests, growing this shrub in full sunshine will keep its foliage bright and beautiful.
Sunshine Ligustrum will eventually grow up to 4 feet wide by 6 feet tall. In my daughter’s location, it is perfect for her space, and she can allow the shrub to grow freeform, which is definitely her preferred choice. But ligustrum also tolerates pruning, so you can keep it at the size that best fits your situation.
Planting Sunshine Ligustrum is pretty easy.
Like most shrubs, this plant likes the soil to be consistently moist and well-drained. A raised bed or container meets this requirement. Once established, it has shown remarkable tolerance to the hot, dry conditions of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.
The planting hole is an important aspect that can help to ensure overall success. I was once told by a wise home gardener to dig a $100 hole for a $10 plant.
In more exact terms, the hole you dig should be at least twice the diameter of the pot. This space gives the shrub’s roots an opportunity for easier growth before hitting native soil. Also, keep the top of the root ball a couple of inches above the soil line to help maintain drainage.
And finally, fertilize the shrub once in the spring and apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around it to help maintain soil moisture.
Sunshine Ligustrum is a member of the privet family, but this privet is totally unlike “those privets.” Some other members of the family have a bad reputation in Southern landscapes.
A great attribute of Sunshine Ligustrum is that it’s not at all invasive because it is a sterile cultivar. It is not like the unruly Ligustrum sinense, which is the botanical name for privet. These privet shrubs produce copious amounts of fruit that birds love, and they ultimately spread the seeds everywhere.
Sunshine Ligustrum is a fantastic selection for a multitude of uses in your home landscape and garden. It can be a freeform and natural-looking hedge. Its bright, golden yellow is great for a pop of color. And you can use it as an accent in a large combination container.
Why not visit your local independent garden center this week and try Sunshine Ligustrum in your home landscape?
Dr. Gary Bachman is an Extension and research professor of horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. Contact him at email@example.com.
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