Family Oleaceae

Genus Ligustrum

Ligustrum Sinense (also called Chinese privet), Ovalifolium, and Vulgare are the most common within over fifty spices of the Ligustrum genus to be grown as Bonsai. The Ligustrum seems to be almost indestructible—it can tolerate quite poor environmental conditions and is able to adapt to climates changes very easily. It can be deciduous, semi-evergreen, or evergreen.

This specimen offers an ivory trunk colour with opposite leaves of different colours depending on the species. It produces small flowers in the spring followed by a small dark fruit.



Informal upright, S shape, windswept, on the rock, and forest work well for this species.

Location and Position

This specimen is hardy and can effortlessly resist temperatures as low as minus ten. After that, it will need some protection.

Outdoor sun exposure can be semi-shade or full sun. If kept indoors, it needs sunlight (place it by a south-facing window) and a large amount of humidity, which can be easily achieved with a humidity tray or by spraying the leaves and trunk regularly.


As with most Bonsai, this plant appreciates moist soil, but itis important to avoid either waterlogging or dry soil for long periods of time.


Feed the Ligustrum every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser during the growing season and once a month with solid pellet if kept indoors during the fall and winter.

Pruning and Pinching

Structural pruning is best done from autumn on while pinching can be done in the spring and summer, allowing the shoots to grow and then pinching back to two pairs of leaves.

Repotting and Soil

The Ligustrum can be reported every one to two years with a well-drained basic soil mix. Two parts of Akadama and one of Pumice should be suitable.


If your Ligustrum is kept outdoors and loses its leaves in the fall, then that will allow you to wire the tree, but this plant material can be wired all year round.


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