Sunshine Ligustrum Care: Ultimate Guide

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To be a proud owner of a thriving Sunshine Ligustrum plant takes a lot. 

You must have memorized the proper soil type, pH, water needed, fertilizer type and ratio, pruning and preventing pests technique, and winter care routine. 

And, more importantly, follow them strictly. 

However, this is where most homeowners fall short, as they have little or no knowledge of Sunshine Ligustrum care. 

This is why this article is a game changer. It takes you from scratch to finish to care for Sunshine Ligustrum adequately —from learning the best practices for planting, watering, and pruning to fertilizing.

We also included expert tips to ensure your plant remains healthy and vibrant despite unfavorable weather conditions.

Sunshine Ligustrum Care

Here is a quick overview of the Sunshine Ligustrum Plant:

  • Scientific Name: Ligustrum Sinense ‘Sunshine’
  • Common Name: Sunshine Ligustrum
  • Height: 3-6 Feet
  • Spread: 3-4 Feet
  • Habit: Clumping, Upright
  • Bloom Period: Grown for Foliage
  • Foliage Color(s): Bright Yellow
  • Watering: Medium
  • Light Exposure: Full Sun
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-10

So without wasting much time, let’s dive right into it. 

1. Planting Sunshine Ligustrum

First, locate the perfect breeding ground (the ideal planting environment) for the plant. 

Sunshine Ligustrum relishes full sun —at least six hours of sunlight daily. 

And since they cannot tolerate soggy, they become very picky with where they lay down their roots.  

However, well-drained, loamy, or sandy soil will do. Also the soil pH should be acidic, neutral, or alkaline (6.0 to 8.0)

Plant spacing is also imperative. 

At least three to four feet apart from any neighboring shrubs or trees would be ideal. But if planting as a hedge, give it 28 to 36 inches apart, center on center. 

If you are like most homeowners planting it in masses or as a landscaping border, go four to six feet apart, center on center. 

2. Watering Requirements

A chunk of the sunshine Ligustrum care routine is meeting the water requirements. 

How you water the plant will determine if it lives or not. And where most people get it wrong is they either overwater or underwater the plant. 

Sunshine Ligustrum is drought-tolerant; they don’t like their feet wet. 

So drowning them in makes them susceptible to pests and disease. 

Underwatering is equally lethal as overwatering these plants. It stunts and deprives them of healthy growth. 

While overwatering results in root blockage that hamper nutrients from the soil, underwater does cause a lack of nutrients.  They are similar. But telltale signs of underwatering are: 

  • Yellowed, curled, and dry leaves
  • Dark or translucent leaf edges
  • Hard, dry soil
  • Leaf drop

Meanwhile, clear evidence of overwatered sunshine ligustrum is: 

  • Discolored leaves
  • Wet leaves that hang
  • Moldy soil
  • Rotten roots

NOTE: You should water it often at the early stage of this privet. But as it begins to gain ground, it grows into a drought-tolerant plant. 

Hence, quit watering them as much. 

You can stick your finger to the soil. And if it is dry, that is a green light to water your ligustrum. 

If the soil is still moist, on the other hand, hold your horses. 

But what is the best way to water your sunshine ligustrum? 

First, DO NOT use a drip irrigation system or soaker hose. Instead, use your hands with the help of a water can. 

Make sure you don’t water the leaves but the base of the plant. 

The best water you can use on your plants is filtered or distilled. Let go of tap water as they contain a bit of chlorine and other chemicals that could subtly affect the plant. 

Although, you can still use tap water if it is your ONLY source. But ensure you leave it open for 24 hours before use. 

By then, most of the chemicals might have evaporated. 

3. Fertilizing 

Fertilization is also part of the Sunshine Ligustrum care routine. 

And you ONLY need to know the recommended fertilizer type, ratios, and fertilizing frequency or timing. 

These will help prevent you from choking the plant with excess fertilizer or the wrong one. 

Any slow-release organic fertilizer will do so long as it is rich in iron and sulfur. Both nutrients are vital for accelerating the production of lush and vibrant foliage. 

Aside from that, sunshine Ligustrum only requminor little and occasional fertilization. 

We recommend using 0.7 pounds of 15-5-15 formula of granular fertilizer for every 100 square feet of growth twice a year —specifically in the spring and fall. 

4. Pruning And Shaping

Pruning Sunshine ligustrum isn’t much of a big deal. 

It comes down to your pruning techniques to achieve the desired shape and size. 

You can mold your bushes to a globe, square, or fanciful. While the plant is responsive to pruning the dense branching and foliage, you DO NOT want to trim the bottom.

Aside from privacy hedge reasons, many leaves won’t be available to get sunlight and stay healthy. 

You also want to focus on having a clean cut of those dead or sick branches throughout the year but NEVER close to the first frost. 

5. Pest And Disease Management

Here is where the going gets tough. 

Chances are that pests and diseases will attack your precious Sunshine Ligustrum. 

Some of the most common encounters would be with assailants:  

These are the scourge of Sunshine Ligustrum plants. And if not tamed, they will completely shatter your shrub’s aesthetics and leave it for dead. 

And what provokes them is temperature fluctuations, severe pest infestation, underwatering overwatering, sunburn, or excess fertilizer use.

Pest is also a massive admirer of the Sunshine Ligustrum —maybe because they look healthy and grow abundantly. But they are always in for the taking.

Although pest infestations are rarely fatal, they can still impact the plant’s health and longevity. 

So you DON’T sit on this! 

Some of the visitors you will be expecting are: 

  • Aphids
  • Scale Insects
  • Spider Mites
  • Winter Moth Caterpillars
  • Powdery Mildew

However, the good news is: you can still nurse your infected plant back to health with the help of herbicides and fungicides. 

Then, take proper and consistent care of your Ligustrum, as your life depends on it.

NOTE: Excessive use of these products will harm the plant and further prolong the problem.

6. Winter Care

Winter feels like passing overnights.

 It is when most amateur gardeners lose their precious plants because they don’t know how to prep them for colder months. 

So how do you over-winterize your Sunshine Ligustrum? 

First, the sunshine privet is comfortable with cold weather —although the plant may experience a drop or color change in the foliage. 

Don’t fret! They won’t lose their leaves over winter since they are evergreen plants.

Despite the humid level, you have to water the plant weekly continuously. And don’t forget to add a layer of mulch to protect the roots from frost and keep them warm while retaining moisture. 


With this sunshine Liguestrum care routine handy, you can kiss goodbye to the guesswork and struggle of keeping them in max health. 

You now know the soil that favors this plant, the water needed, fertilizer type and ratio, how to prune and prevent pests, and winter care. 

And this is all you need to groom a healthy sunshine Liguestrum all year round.