Golden Privet

Ligustrum x vicaryi

Golden Privet

Ligustrum x vicaryi


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Vicary Golden Privet is a vigorous, fast-growing evergreen shrub that will reach 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide if untrimmed. Trimmed plants can be kept as low as 3 feet tall. The solid-gold leaves hold their color well, turning a little greener in shade and as they mature. Grow it as a specimen, or use it to create brilliant and colorful golden hedges or shapes, that will really bring your garden to life. White flowers in late spring attract insects and butterflies, and black berries feed winter birds.

  • Golden leaves with no green markings on them
  • Evergreen in all warmer zones
  • Perfect for bright hedges and accent plants
  • Vigorous, fast-growing and tough
  • Trimming after flowering will prevent seeding

Grow the Vicary Golden Privet in full sun for the brightest and yellowest leaf coloring. Plants in shade will be greener. It grows well in ordinary garden soils, and even tolerates heavy clays, urban soils and shallow soils. It has moderate drought resistance once established, but grows more vigorously with regular watering. Pests or diseases are very rare, and deer usually leave it alone. A trim after flowering will remove the possibility of seeds being produced.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 7-10
Mature Height 8-12
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-9

When you want to bring gold into your garden, you can do it with golden statues, or save a lot of money by going with the Vicary Golden Privet instead. This is one of the very few plants that has solid-gold leaves, with no green at all to be seen on them. Gold is such a great color in the garden, because it brings such brightness and light on cloudy days and on sunny ones too. Most so-called ‘golden’ plants have some green on the leaves, so they never capture the pureness of molten gold the way the Vicary Golden Privet does. Each leaf is a pure golden oval, free of any greening, and the toughness and adaptability of this bush makes it a great garden asset. It can be clipped into hedges, balls, cones and other shapes with ease. The more you clip, the more golden it remains, but of course you can also grow it less formally as a bright background shrub, when the leaves will become a little greenish as the vibrant new growth matures.

Growing the Vicary Golden Privet

Size and Appearance

The Vicary Golden Privet is a medium sized shrub that will grow rapidly – over 12 inches a year – into a rounded or vase-shaped bush up to 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. With trimming it can be kept much smaller. It is evergreen in warm zones, and semi-evergreen in cooler ones, where the leaves will also take on bronze to purple tones in colder weather, with a variable quantity of the foliage falling over the winter months. Older untrimmed plants will develop thicker stems, leafless bases and a vase-shaped form, but clipped plants remain full and leafy to the ground. The leaves are slightly leathery, oval, up to 3 inches long, with a smooth, glossy surface. New leaves are a clear, pure, golden yellow over the entire surface. Older leaves become more greenish, approaching a yellow-chartreuse tone, especially in shadier places.

In late spring 4-inch long clusters of white flowers develop, especially on unclipped plants, and these are fragrant, attracting insects and butterflies. The flowers develop into black berries which will be eaten by birds over the winter months. These have a potential to spread, usually producing plants with green leaves.

Using the Vicary Golden Privet in Your Garden

There are two distinct ways of using this bush in your garden. You can grow it completely untrimmed, or perhaps with a trim every few years, into a vase-shaped shrub or small multi-stem tree which makes an eye-catching specimen at the back of beds, in corners against walls and fences, or out on a lawn. Or, grow it with regular trimming into hedges and clipped shapes. For hedges 3 or 4 feet tall, space plants 2 to 3 feet apart. For taller hedges over 5 feet, space plants 3 to 4 feet apart. Whatever spacing you choose, arrange the plants so they are evenly spaced. Individual plants can be clipped into cones, columns, boxes and other shapes, making colorful topiary to decorate your garden.


The Vicary Golden Privet is hardy from zone 5 to zone 9. At the lower end it will be semi-evergreen to deciduous, and at the warmer end it will be reliably evergreen, and keep its gold coloring all winter.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

Full sun is best for the Vicary Golden Privet. It will grow in partial shade, but the foliage will be greener and less effective. It grows in just about any kind of soil – a great asset in urban gardens and on difficult land such as heavy clay or shallow soil over rock. It will grow best in average garden soil that is reasonably drained, and although moderately drought resistant when established the growth will be most vigorous in moist soils.

Maintenance and Pruning

Pests and diseases are rare in the Vicary Golden Privet, and deer normally won’t bother with it. Left to grow naturally it is very low-maintenance, and a bit of mulch occasionally is all it needs, and some water during extended dry periods. It can be trimmed regularly, any time from just before the new growth begins in spring up until early fall. New growth in fall is more likely to drop its leaves in winter, so for a full plant, trim mainly earlier in the year. A trim before the new growth emerges, and again in early summer, after flowering, should keep it neat for all but the most fastidious of gardeners. Regular trimming will reduce or eliminate flowers, or if you trim annually after flowering you will still enjoy some blooms, but avoid any seeds being produced. Should you see any green stems developing, cut them off from the point they are sprouting from.

History and Origin of the Vicary Golden Privet

Henry Beckett was the head gardener to Henry Huck Gibbs and his son Vicary, rich businessmen and keen gardeners. Between 1882 and 1932, Beckett, Vicary and his father turned Aldenham House, north of London, England, into a botanical collection rivalling Kew Gardens. To create the plant called Ligustrum x vicaryi, Beckett crossed together the golden privet, Ligustrum ovalifolium ‘Aureum’, with the common European privet, Ligustrum vulgare, around 1920. Golden privet is a form of the Californian privet (which actually comes from Japan and South Korea) that has green leaves with a broad golden-yellow border. Among the seedlings that Beckett grew was one with solid gold leaves, and that hybrid plant was named after Vicary Gibbs.

Buying the Vicary Golden Privet at the Tree Center

Golden accents can really bring your garden to life, and the Vicary Golden Privet is the ‘goldenest’ of them all. This great shrub is easy to grow almost anywhere, and always in high demand. So order now, because we will be sold out very soon.

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Golden Privet

Ligustrum x vicaryi