5 Reasons Why Sunshine Ligustrum Not Growing [Fixing Guide]

Unlike other shrubs, your sunshine Ligustrum is the ultimate show-stealer in your garden because of its eye-catchy yellowish-green foliage. Well, these shrubs are easy to grow. But you legit plant them in your garden only to realize the Sunshine Ligustrum not growing well or at all!

Well, if you are new to gardening then let us tell you, this is a common problem for Sunshine Ligustrum also known as the golden hedge.

However, there can be several reasons for this beautiful shrub to stop growing. Nonetheless, the main reasons include insufficient or excessive watering, pest attacks, fungal and bacterial diseases, the wrong environment, and others.

Moreover, these reasons occur many other problems in growing Sunshine Ligustrum. So, to know in detail and to save your precious shrub read out the entire article.

ReasonsFixing Guide
Under and overwateringWater once a week
Pest attacksUse Pesticides
Temperature FluctuationsKeep the plant away from frosts
Fungal diseasesUse fungicides
Wrong environmentPlant in moist soil and a shiny place

 Why Sunshine Ligustrum Is Not Growing? [How to Fix]

Sunshine Ligustrum is a popular shrub due to its striking golden-yellow foliage and ease of maintenance. However, if your Sunshine Ligustrum is not growing, there may be several reasons for this. Here are some possible causes and solutions

Sunshine Ligustrum Plant

1. Under and Over Watering

Watering a plant is very important. But you have to determine how much water the specific plant requires. Both sufficient and insufficient watering can stop the growth of your Sunshine Ligustrum.

If the plant remains underwatered for days, then it will start dropping leaves by making them wilted. Soon, it will also stunt growing leaves or brunches.

Generally, Sunshine Ligustrum requires a lot of water for thriving well. Again, summer is the season when the growth rate of the plant remains at its peak. So, it requires more water in summer for growing along with photosynthesizing.

Therefore, it is very important to keep the shrubs hydrated throughout the whole summer. Then again, too much watering can be detrimental as well. All plants are choosy about the amount of water they will be taking.

Sunshine Ligustrum is not exceptional. Thus, constant watering and wetness can slowly kill the plant instead of helping it to grow. Hence, it is very important to water the Sunshine Ligustrum properly.


For underwatering

  • Wilting of leaves
  • Leaf droppings
  • Dead leaf tips
  • Dry soil
  • Slow growth

For Overwatering

  • Yellowing and browning of leaves
  • Rotting
  • Zero new growth
  • Algae in soil

Control Measure

  • Water your Sunshine Ligustrum at least once or twice a week especially when it is summer.
  • If it is raining constantly, do not water your plant until the soil dries properly.
  • Use soil moisture to determine the soil moisture so that you can water the Sunshine Ligustrum properly. (Our pick: SONKIR Soil pH Meter, MS02 3-in-1 Soil Moisture/Light/pH Tester)
  • Or, go for a two-finger test to inspect if the soil is dry down there up to a certain inch and then decide if you should water your plant or not.
  • Water the plant following dripping irrigation so that the leaves do not get wet.

If you live in an area where the rainfall is low and the climate is arid then you might have to water the Sunshine Ligustrum twice a week.

2. Pest Attacks

Pests are very common in Sunshine Ligustrum. But if you allow them to reign then you might have to regret it later since these pests stop the growth of the shrubs. Pests that are most likely to attack the Ligustrum plants are aphids, weevils, and scale insects.

Pest Attack on Sunshine Ligustrum

Sunshine Ligustrum hedge can be highly attacked by aphids at times. Sucking the cell sap from both young and old leaves, the bugs do not allow to grow the plant anymore. Also, they weaken the internal metabolism of the plant.

 Like aphids, vine weevils also cause the same to the plant. These beetles are way dangerous. They cause holes in the leaves and stems and make these parts their source of food. These vine weevils mainly remain in the soil and eat up soft and young stems and leaves.

Consequently, the golden hedge stops growing. In summer, these vine weevils can

Now, talking about the scale insects, these are also sap-sucking bugs. Creating smaller bumps on stems and both sides of the Ligustrum leaf surface, these bugs destroy the entire hedge.


  • Aphids cover the entire leaf
  • Eat up entire leaves
  • Scale insects create shells
  • Destroying of stem
  • Growth stunt

Control Measure

  • Use or call for beneficial insects for eating up the pests.
  • To remove aphids, use a damp cloth to wipe off the pests from the leaves.
  • Also, you can use a flow or jet of water to get rid of aphids.
  • Again, to get rid of vine weevils, shake off your Ligustrum hedge.
  • Many gardeners use Steinernema Kraussei as well. This microscopic nematode is useful to remove vine weevils.
  • In most severe cases, it is better to use pesticides that contain Deltamethrin, Cypermethrin, or acetamiprid. (our pick: Natria 706250A Neem Oil Spray)
  • The best way to remove pests when the attack is in the initial stage is to apply homemade remedies,

-Take one tablespoon of liquid soap with one cup of vegetable oil. Mix them with water of one quart and take the mixture into a spray bottle. Then apply the solution to the pests.

– To kill aphids, you can also use tomato leaves insecticide. The components tomatine and solanine are super killers of aphids. Soak the tomato leaves overnight and then spray the water over the pests.  

Thus, choose the pesticide according to the pests that have attacked your Sunshine Ligustrum hedge. However, keep in mind that the best time for applying pesticides is summer.

3. Cold Weather and Temperature Fluctuations

Sunshine Ligustrum also stops growing in extremely cold weather. This kind of weather causes leaf drops and eventually, the plant stops growing new leaves or branches. This weather also makes the leaves brown and wilted.  

Again, extreme cold weather also invites winter mold caterpillars. These caterpillars attack the Sunshine Ligustrum hedge and make holes in new leaves. These small holes are quite visible and are the main reason for not growing the sunshine Ligustrum anymore.

Moreover, your Ligustrum plant is certainly not hardy enough to survive longer sessions of frost and cold. Again, sudden temperature fluctuations are not good for your plant as well. That is why extreme heat can also affect the plant in a deteriorating way.


Control Measure

  • If the weather is too cold or on winter nights, bring your potted Sunshine Ligustrum indoors in a warm and dry condition.
  • Since the plant is not enough hardy, make sure to plant them in places where the weather suits them best.
  • Do not expose the Sunshine Ligustrum to sudden fluctuations in temperature. For example, do not place your plant suddenly from hot weather in a cold or air-conditioned room.
  • To deal with the winter moth caterpillars, let the birds come to your garden. Tit birds will eat these winter moth caterpillars.
  • Again, to resume the growth of the Sunshine Ligustrum prune off the parts that are damaged because of winter frost.

So, these are some solutions. Nonetheless, pruning after winter is a great help to grow your plant a bit fuller. Proper pruning can bring back life to your Sunshine Ligustrum.

4. Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases are very common in plants and Sunshine Ligustrum plants are on the same horizon as well. starting from root rot to powdery mildew any fungal diseases can occur to your plant. Even honey fungi are also seen in Sunshine Ligustrum. They also stunt plant growth.

Honey fungus can kill the roots of the plant hence, all metabolic activity and nutrient transfer get stopped. Leaves also become pale or brown.

So, eventually, the plant also stops making food and growing. Then again, if the fungus gets favorable conditions like humid weather, then the branches also die slowly.

Moreover, you might also see powdery mildew over the leaf surface of the Sunshine Ligustrum. It is also a fungal disease and it is common for this plant. Powdery mildew covers the entire surface of the leaves and helps in distorting the growth of your plant.

Therefore, there is no chance the Ligustrum can further grow any new tissues or young leaves. However, powdery mildew takes place when the leaves of the plant remain wet for a longer time. This condition is favorable for them.


  • Deformed leaf and stem
  • Turning leaves yellow and pale
  • Rotting of root
  • Poor development
  • Stunted growth

Control Measure

  • Remove the infected parts and destroy or burn them away.
  • To get rid of honey fungus, replace the topsoil of the plant with newly composted soil.
  • Water your Sunshine Ligustrum properly and let not suffer it from any drought stresses.
  • Do not let the leaves of the plant remain wet for a longer period.
  • Pesticides that contain tebuconazole [our pick] can also deal with powdery mildew fungus of the Ligustrum.
  • Again, you can apply fungicides for an easy solution and critical attacks (Our Pick: Bonide 775 Copper Fungicide Rtu Natural)

However, the best solution to get rid of any fungus attack is to take great care of your plant even if it is not high-maintenance.

5. Sunshine Ligustrum in the Wrong Environment

Too much direct sunlight can be a reason for your plant not growing well. Even though the plant is quite sun-loving, it acts the opposite if exposed to direct sunlight for a longer period. Generally, at least six hours of light is required.

Less than this amount of light will not provide the plant with enough energy to grow further. Nonetheless, excess sunlight will scorch the plant turning the leaves brown. Again, your golden hedge requires well-drained moist soil.

Moreover, the plants thrive well in moderately acidic to moderately alkaline soil. Too much acidic or too much alkaline soil will not work for the plant. Hence, the Sunshine Ligustrum will not grow properly.


  • No growth of the plant
  • No young leaves
  • Leaf drops
  • Wilting

Control Measure

  • Plant the hedge where it will get at least six hours of direct sunlight.
  • Transplant the Sunshine Ligustrum where the light is too much or too less.
  • Mulch the soil before planting the shrub to have full growth.
  • Amend the soil before planting if it is too acidic or too alkaline.

So, to have the best growth of your Sunshine Ligustrum, make sure you plant the hedge in the right environment.

Optimum Requirement for Sunshine Ligustrum

Soil pH6.0 to 8.0
WaterOnce or twice a week
Temperature75º to 85ºF
Growth3 to 6 feet


Q: How fast-growing is sunshine Ligustrum?

Ans: Sunshine Ligustrum bushes are quite fast-growing. Most of their variety can grow up to 2 feet every year even without having much care.

Q: Why are my Ligustrum dropping leaves?

Ans: The first reason for it is improper watering of your plant. Excess or insufficient watering can cause yellowing and browning of the Ligustrum leave. Moisture is important but make sure the plant is never too dry or wet.

Q: Can you cut back Sunshine Ligustrum?

Ans: Certainly, you can. You can cut back this hedge almost any time of the year. But to get the best result, prune the plant after winter.

Final Words

So, now you know why your sunshine Ligustrum not growing further. Well, since we have added control measures with each reason make sure to apply them to your plant.

Indeed, sunshine Ligustrum plants are low-maintenance. But when adverse conditions get to an extreme stage, you have to take a little care of your plant.

Every plant deserves some care and Sunshine Ligustrum is not an exception. So, if our article has helped you and your plant then let us know through your feedback.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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