Golden Vicary Privet

DSC_0093Here’s a fun plant to use in a mixed border or as a pair of accents by an exterior door. In full sun, the leaves are lemon yellow; in semi-shade locations, or where lower branches are shaded, the leaves are apple green. Each leaf is approximately 2″-2 1/2″ (5-6 cm) long and has a shiny surface.

Golden Vicary Privet (Ligustrum x vicaryi) can reach a height of 6′ (2 m), but more commonly is 3′-4′ (1.0-1.2 m). The width is about equal to the height on plants under 3′ (1.0 m), but, as with all privets, can be regularly sheared to the desired shape.

In the four years that I have owned my plant, I have never noticed insect pests. The foliage may develop purplish leaf blotches from too much rain or from overhead watering.

Golden Vicary is hardy in Zones 5-8 and is drought resistant once established. It has a naturally dense, rounded structure. Early spring is the preferred time for any hard pruning to maintain the desired overall shape. The shrub is late to leaf out, so don’t prune out dead branches until late May. Any well-drained soil, plus a location with at least morning sun, is ideal for the Golden Vicary Privet.

In addition to varieties of yellow barberry, Golden Vicary Privet provides a splash of yellow in the garden all season, even while yellow-flowered perennials go in and out of bloom. The white flowers are insignificant, but the elliptical leaf shape is a pleasant contrast to the strap-like leaves of daylilies and the feathery leaves of threadleaf coreopsis.

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