golden yellow foliage of the Sunshine ligustrum
have the ability to light up the garden with
color, commanding attention from all who pass by.
Here they are in a tropical setting with bananas,
SunPatiens and salvias.
you have been hoping to light up your garden with
dazzling foliage, then you need a little Sunshine.
Actually a little is good but a lot of Sunshine is
better. The Sunshine I am referring to is one of the
hottest shrubs anywhere and that is the Sunshine
may be thinking, holy privet, this guy recommending a
ligustrum? Yes, indeed, I am. Though I have sneezed
uncontrollably in the spring, and I have pulled unwanted
privet seedlings by what seemed like a truckload, I can
say this is a jewel of a plant.
produces brilliant yellow to gold foliage acting as
though it were a lantern, lighting up the garden. It is
slower growing than typical ligustrum and has the
ability to reach 3 to 4 feet tall and around 4 feet
wide. But it also can be sheared to a glowing hedge.
foliage and moderate growth alone would not be enough to
persuade you grow this privet, because you may be leery
of its rowdy invasive cousins. Sunshine is different in
that it is sterile, therefore producing no seeds. It has
been tested for years.
is cold hardy from zones 6-10 meaning that a large part
of the country can relish in its beauty. Select a site
with plenty of sun to reach the full color potential.
While it is not particularly picky on soil it makes no
sense to stick this beauty in cement clay-like
soil improvement a part of every gardening project you
do. At the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens we have
areas with a lot of sand so we work in organic matter
like composted cotton burr or something similar to help
increase the fertility. In other areas we have something
we call muck, which is horrendous and drains poorly. Our
staff works tirelessly improving these conditions as
planted three gallon shrubs in our garden, digging the
hole about twice as wide as the rootball. This shrub is
like azaleas and camellias, for which it is recommended
that you plant slightly high, about 1 to 2 inches above
the soil surface. Once you do this and have added your
backfill, then use a good layer of mulch in the bed
covering the top of the root zone.
you are planting as a colorful hedge you will need to
shear or trim a little, about three times a year. Strive
to make your top narrower, tapering outward, allowing
the sunlight to reach the bottom leaves. A quick
internet search will allow you to see glorious photos of
serpentine plantings as well as unbelievable knot or
also make terrific accent planting where you might just
use an odd numbered grouping or cluster. While they
really stand out against a background of dark green
plant material, think also about blues and violets.
Plant several of them in front of a Shoal Creek vitex
and you will have a stunning partnership.
have ours in a garden with blood-leaf bananas,
SunPatiens, Indigo Spires salvia and the new Amistad
salvia with dark-violet blooms and black calyces. We
finished our layering with several scaevola, the purple
fan flower that also does its part to show off Sunshine’s
since Sunshine is such a hot shrub you will want to grab
yours as soon as you see them. This is one of those
plants that tend to disappear quickly