Jack Frost Privet

Ligustrum japonicum 'Jack Frost'

2 Reviews

Jack Frost Privet

Ligustrum japonicum 'Jack Frost'

2 Reviews


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 Jack Frost Privet is a bright and cheerful evergreen shrub, with variegated leaves in light-green and pale ivory. Each leaf has an irregular margin of white, and the glossy leaves sparkle and shine light around your garden. It grows at a moderate rate of 6 to 10 inches a year, and only reaches about 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, so for making screens and hedges that aren’t just boring green, look no further than this great plant. Use it for informal screening, with just an occasional trim, or turn it into a precision hedge or detailed topiary bush. Save your time for your flowers, and fill the background of your garden with color, by planting this fabulous plant in your garden.

  • Vibrant white and green variegated evergreen
  • Ideal way to add color without adding garden work
  • Moderate growth rate for easier maintenance
  • Very tough and easy to grow
  • Pest free, disease free, and deer resistant

The Jack Frost Privet will grow from zone 6 to zone 10, in almost any kind of soil that is not constantly flooded. Plant between 2½ and 4 feet apart for screens and hedges, or use it in the background of your garden, to brighten everything up. It grows well in both sun and partial shade, pests and diseases don’t bother it, it is salt-resistant, and even deer usually leave it alone. For easy gardening, without growing boring plain green plants, this is the shrub you want.

Plant Hardiness Zones 6-10
Mature Width 8
Mature Height 10
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 6-10

The secret to a happy garden is to keep the basic structural elements – hedges, screens, backgrounds shrubs – low-maintenance and trouble-free, and to use more demanding plants in key areas and focal points, where you can enjoy their outstanding features without taking on too much work. Follow this general approach and you will not find yourself overwhelmed by your garden. The only problem doing this is that if you are not careful you can create a dull, plain green garden, with very little color or interest. A great way to avoid that is to use plants like the Jack Frost Privet, which is incredibly easy to care for, and very tough, but that sparkles with bright color, and brings light and focus to your background planting.

If right now you are thinking, “Privet? I thought there were problems with that plant getting really big and invading natural areas. . .” then you can put those concerns to rest. Yes, there are ‘bad’ privet bushes, but the Jack Frost Privet is not one of them. It grows no more than 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, and often less. It can have attractive clusters of white flowers in the spring, sometimes followed by a few black berries, but these are not of interest to birds, and they don’t spread around. Bushes that are trimmed a couple of times a year usually don’t flower at all, but simply remain lush and thick, and bring beauty, not problems. In fact, the Jack Frost Privet, which is a type of Japanese privet, comes highly recommended by every gardening expert, so you can relax, and use this great plant freely in your garden.

Growing Jack Frost Privet Shrubs

The Jack Frost Privet is a fast-growing evergreen shrub, with glossy oval leaves that are light-green, with an irregular ivory margin around them. The leaves are between 1½ and 2 inches long, and about 1 inch wide. Look closely and you will see several shades of green on each leaf, in irregular patterns, and that broad margin of ivory will be different on every leaf too. This makes the plant much more visually interesting and adds to its beauty. The overall effect is of sparking green and white, catching the light and reflecting brightness around the garden. Although bright, it is neutral, so it looks wonderful with any other flowering plants, or all shrubs with colored foliage.

Uses on Your Property

The Jack Frost Privet is just the right size to make screens or hedges, or to grow with other taller shrubs in the background of your garden. It can be clipped just as much as you want, and made into all sorts of topiary shapes, from cubes to cones and spirals, of almost any size. Trimming a couple of times a year keeps it very dense, with many branches covered in leaves, so you have a solid hedge in very little time. You don’t have to worry if you only clip once a year, because although this plant grows rapidly, it is well-behaved, adding only 6 to 10 inches a year, not the 2 or 3 feet some plants grow, meaning they need lots and lots of clipping. For a hedge, plant in a row, spacing the plants evenly between 2½ or 3 feet apart for a shorter hedge, up to 4 or 5 feet tall, and 4 feet apart for a taller hedge.

Planting and Initial Care

The really good news about the Jack Frost Privet is how easy it is to grow. It will grow the quickest, and be very dense, in full sun, but it will also thrive in light shade, or spots with sun for just part of the day. It will grow in almost any kind of soil, including heavier clay soils, just so long as they are not always soaking wet. It even tolerates salt-drift, so plant it in coastal areas too.

For the first season or two, water regularly, to develop a strong, extensive root system. This means watering deeply, and over a wide area, not just putting a little water right where the roots are. Do this once a week during the first summer, and every week or two in the second season. After that your plants will be so well established that only major drought will bother them. Of course, if you do water regularly, and use a fertilizer for evergreen shrubs, then you will get the fastest and lushest growth possible, but it certainly isn’t essential. This plant is normally pest and disease free, and it needs almost nothing from you to thrive – even clipping is optional. It is also almost never touched by deer.

History and Origins of the Jack Frost Privet

Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum) is native to southern and central Japan, as well as Korea. The evergreen leaves are a rich, glossy, dark-green, and much larger – up to 4 inches long – than in the variety called ‘Jack Frost’. The small, white flowers grow in cone-shaped clusters up to 8 inches long and 8 inches wide at their base. They are sweetly-scented and attract insects, but the Jack Frost Privet has very few flowers compared to the wild forms. After the petals drop the flowers may turn into clusters of small, purple-black berries, which stay on the tree all winter. We know that different varieties of this plant were grown in Japan for centuries, and brought to America and Europe in the 19th century, but we don’t know much about the variety ‘Jack Frost’, except that it is one of the best variegated shrubs available.

The demand for easy background plants, that also brighten the garden, is enormous. We know that these plants will not be with us long, so take the opportunity to simplify your gardening, and beautify it at the same time – order now.

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Jack Frost Privet

Ligustrum japonicum 'Jack Frost'

2 Reviews