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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Bane of My Existence


Right now, I am suffering! This privet causes half the people I know much misery, pain, and cost. I have spent countless hours with itchy eyes, so horrid I could not see. I have spent too much money trying to defeat the symptoms which are disabling. My eyes, sinuses, nostrils (itching), and breathing is affected. In the last few years I have managed to destroy and beat back this problem in the some parts of the yard. I still battle baby privets. This may be the last year I put up with this beauty. Pollen from the privet causes asthma and eczema. I have symptoms of both! 
Two years ago, I sat in a chair and bent over to pull baby privets. I pulled one hundred 3" babies in an area that was about 18" x 18"! That must be redone week after week. Of course, I don't. Mowing only delays the problem and makes the roots deeper and stronger.
The hens love to stay under the tips that are bending toward the ground. So, I am a sucker for what they like. Plus, eight cardinals love the bush. Maybe it is the berries they like?


shady area
The privet originates far to the left of this picture above. As the branches reach the hickory tree, they bend. I like the area it forms underneath. It makes me too miserable to sit there even though others do sit in the chairs. Actually, even an open window exposes me to the pollen.
You can learn more about privet. 
Pretty and more pleasant

self seeded or regrew
Wave Petunias
Early in the spring, I noticed green in this hanging basket. It had such a thick stem that it appeared the plant was re growing after the winter. I knew the Wave Petunia would reseed. Last year, I bought some distressed Wave Petunias and they flourished after a little care. Now, I have another stressed petunia that I will plant here with the leftover ones you see here. It appears on each of the pink and white made it through the winter and the other reseeded.
I am sure I could have a better picture, but I was standing on a pile of rocks.
Your turn
Does anyone have these privets in your yard? Are you allergic? Do your or your children have asthma, problems with lungs, or eczema? Do you suspect your problems are caused or exacerbated by this invasive pest?


  1. I wish I had a suggestion. There is surely a way to kill the one in your yard, but they're so common that I don't how much good it would do. Do you have air conditioning so you can keep your windows shut? Even if you can't get rid of yours, keeping it mowed so that it doesn't flower would surely help some.

  2. Snowbrush,
    Oh, I have destroyed many mature privets. I do have ac but have to go outdoors for things. The trunk on this is about 10", so mowing it would not be possible. a friend with a chainsaw is the answer.

    Even if I rid my yard of these, they are all over the neighborhood, in adjoining yards, along roads, just wild everywhere.

    I will live with it or get a replacement shrub.

  3. It is considered a threat in North Carolina, but I don't ever recall seeing one. I have so many weed issues (including recurring poison ivy) the it would be just another one to add to the list.

    At least Kudzu is edible.

  4. Russell,
    I wonder why it is not a threat here. I passed a house that was surrounded by privet. I felt sorry for anyone, especially a child, who lived there. It was a beautiful hedge, gave complete privacy. I believe there is poison ivy in a corner of my yard--yikes.

    My friend who lives in the country had a beautiful creek running through her property and just on the edge of her yard that was mowed out of acreage. The privets grew so thick she could no longer get to the creek and the thick trunks were destroying the other plant life and ruined the course of the stream.


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