How to Make a Privet Hedge Thicker

Privet hedges have a tendency to become sparse, particularly during the summer months. This can be problematic, particularly when used as typically excellent privacy hedges to reduce noise pollution. Whether your hedge is looking a bit worse for wear, or you’d like to thicken your existing healthy hedge, we offer some tips on how to make your privet hedge thicker.

How you trim your hedge makes all the difference when making your hedge thicker, encouraging growth when done correctly and at the right time. It also improves the privet’s attractiveness, as well as creating much stronger hedging plants overall. We recommend to make your privet hedge thicker you:

  • Trim the top of your privet
  • Prune the terminal buds
  • Trim at the right time

Trimming the Top of Your Privet

Trimming the top encourages the sides to grow out further, thickening your hedge. When left unattended, privets can grow quickly and become sparse and uneven at the base. 

After all, the plant needs lots of light in order to grow. Be mindful that your privet should have a 90-degree angle (a square or rectangular shape) if it is used as a garden border. We recommend you wear gloves throughout this process to protect yourself from injury.

Pruning the Terminal Buds

This simply means that pruning the buds at the tip of each branch with a pair of pruning shears encourages growth. We’d advise that you cut the tips at a 45-degree angle, making the cut at approximately a quarter of an inch above the newest bud.

Whilst pruning, be mindful of the shape of your entire privet and keep its shape as even as possible. Taller branches that do not blend in with the shape of the privet hedging will also need to be cut back. Leave for a few weeks until new shoots emerge.

Next, assess the growth of the new buds and retrim around half of them, as done previously, once they’ve reached between 6 and 12 inches. This will encourage new branches to emerge that will thicken the hedge.

Trim at the Right Time

Depending on the hedge species, each will require different amounts of pruning using different tools. For privet hedges, it is best to trim at least twice a year between May and August. This is to maximise the chances of growth and make your shrub stronger throughout winter months. Put simply, the more you trim your privet hedge, the thicker and denser it becomes. You should, however, consider the weather, such as an early or late spring, when deciding to trim your privet.

The privet hedge is one of the faster-growing hedge available, so it’s important you prune and trim regularly to keep it looking fresh and attractive. Trimming at the right time, trimming the top and pruning the buds at the right time will help it become denser quickly.

Hopes Grove Nurseries provide quality privet hedges delivered to your door anywhere in the UK. Our local, family-run nursery has a variety of hedging plants to suit your gardening needs. Don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 01580 765600 or by filling in our contact form.