Straight Talk Privet

February 8, 2018


Straight Talk Privet

Content provided by Bailey Nurseries

Hedges, screens, and vertical accents are in high demand, especially in urban gardens and by landscape designers so this new privet from First Editions® is right on trend. Perfect as a vertical accent in tight spaces, Straight Talk™ (Ligustrum vulgare ‘Swift’) is only 2′ wide and tightly upright. The leaves are glossy and dark green, and the foliage resembles boxwood. The flowers are white and are followed by small black fruit.

In colder regions, this new variety is the perfect substitute for hollies that aren’t hardy, or are invasive like the old buckthorns with no viable seed set after 6 years of trialing. This privet is hardy from zones 4-8 and will tolerate a range of soils and exposures including full sun to partial shade. In addition, tolerance to drought make it a great choice for urban landscapes.

But what about production? Kevin Johnston, Bailey Nurseries General Production Manager in the Midwest, says, “The plant seems to grow well; it sized up nicely in our bareroot fields with lots of body and branching. The columnar habit looks nice, should make for a nice hedge or specimen plant—especially in the northern climates where our selection is more limited.” Likewise, Shane Brockshus, Bailey Nurseries West Coast Production Manager, says, “You know what you’re going to get.” They recommend dormant pruning so all of the lateral buds break. Additional pruning in late May/ early June in Minnesota still results in re-growth.


Pahl’s will have the Straight Talk Privet available for sale in April 2018 in both #2 & #5 sizes.  We did have this new privet later in the season last year and it was very well received.  Everyone that saw it loved it!  I think Straight Talk Privet will be a very valuable shrub for landscapers, finally we have a tall narrow plant with rich green boxwood like foliage to use in place of an arborvitae.

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4 Responses to “Straight Talk Privet”

  1. C GrahamMay 4, 2019 at 8:46 am #

    I like the shape of the three growing is this picture, where they are a bit more wild and not pruned in like the hedges. Any pruning tips to get this look? I bought this plant last year for a single privacy on side of my porch where you might typically see an arborvitae. Agree, it’s a nice new variety for MN. I hope it grows fast.

    • Chris KaufenbergMay 4, 2019 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi Cheryl, the Straight Talk Privet is a moderate grower. You can achieve the look in the picture by simply not pruning the tree. Thanks for your question!

  2. Trisha HoytAugust 31, 2019 at 9:57 pm #

    Hi there! I’m in Minnesota and was wondering if my privet will lose its leaves in the fall or winter? Thanks. Trish

    • Chris KaufenbergSeptember 2, 2019 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Trisha, thanks for your question. The Straight Talk Privet does lose its leaves in the winter.

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