Sick Ligustrum Texanum/Waxleaf Privet -- please help

15 years ago

Hello everyone

I bought a two-tier ligustrum texanum, which I think is the same thing as a Waxleaf Privet, from the Target garden center on clearance.

I've uploaded some images here:

It was originally $125, to give you an idea of its size, which is probably about 6 to 7 feet tall. It's still in its original wooden crate, because I am not sure exactly where to put it. I'm in Phoenix, AZ, and the winter has not been super cold, but there were a couple of nights where the temp got down to the mid-30's.

In the months I've had the plant, I haven't seen any new growth, unless I'm missing it. But, more important, there are areas that seem to be dead. The little branches are dry and snap right off with a bit of flying dust. I water it regularly -- the Target garden center man told me he had been watering it daily (it sat unmoved there for months before I bought it), so I started off doing that. Now, during the winter, I've been watering it more like every 2 to 3 days. The water drains out very quickly and the soil seems to have some sand in it. It sits near a small hibiscus tree, which incidentally is also not growing.

Maybe it's just because it's winter, but I want to be sure I'm not killing my ligustrum. Should I prune it a bit? Will that cause new growth? Should I water more or less? Do I have to move it to a larger pot? Thanks a lot for your input!

Steve in AZ

Comments (3)

  • mrbrownthumb
    15 years ago

    I took a look at your pics and it doesn't look "dead" or on death's door to me. It looks to be in pretty good shape, some branches (especially if they are on the inside) are bound to die because they get less light or air.

    Take your finger nail and scrape a little of the trunk and branches very lightly. If you see green underneath then the tree is alive if you see brown then it is dead. I wouldn't prune or repot until spring comes around and you see that new growth is appearing and the plant is starting it's growing cycle.

  • sandbar49
    12 years ago

    I wish my topiaries looked as good as yours. This is the second set of ligustrum topiaries at my front entry (Savannah area). I was surprised that you did not get more assistance than posted above. The leaves on mine are falling off. The trunk still looks alive, but not for long. Leaves appear to have white coating, similar to your last picture. HELP! I can't afford to replace these again. Is this plant prone to anything? Is it possible to get new leaves to grow on a topiary?

  • PRO
    Paradise Nursery
    3 years ago

    Make sure to Deeply water the Ligustrum - wax leaf privet regularly. They very hardy, and drought tolerant. So they can take excessive water as well as lack of water.

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