‘Variegata’ bears irregularly white variegated leaves. Ensuring that plantings receive good air circulation and are not overcrowded can help keep plants from being susceptible. Hardy from zones 5-9. Pachysandra may be a slow starter, but by the third year, it will spread out and create a mass of deep green evergreen foliage. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. Pachysandra, also known as Japanese Spurge, is a perennial evergreen plant that is usually grown as a ground cover. It is the best ground cover plant to use under the shade of large spreading trees or to form a fancy dense green blanket shrub. Does Sedum Autumn Joy Require Acidic Soil? Pruning helps its growth. deep and 6 inches (15 cm.) It has very dark green leaves. Because of its low care needs, pachysandra is also a favorite plant for woodland gardens and as a living mulch underneath shrubs or trees. Shade provided by a building, fence or evergreen will prevent pachysandra from winter “burn” that turns the leaves brown. Pachysandra can withstand occasional dryness, but does best when it is kept moist. Another is as a pest deterrent, and it is particularly popular in areas where deer invade gardens. Successfully controlling the spread of pachysandra involves a series of both manual and chemical control methods. It spreads with rhizomes and will cover bare ground when left to do its thing. Space plants 12 inches apart, somewhat closer if you want them to fill in faster. Pachysandra is a beautiful ground cover but it does grow very slowly. Pachysandra is one of the few plants that will grow under evergreens and in dense shade. Plant Health Problems Diseases caused by Fungi: Volutella blight, Volutella pachysandrae. And you can grow it in most temperature zones. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin. Pachysandra ground cover has evergreen leaves that will burn in the sun. Soil should be moist and well drained; Pachysandra prefers acidic soils but can tolerate neutral and slightly alkaline soils. I advise to sprinkle 1/2" peat moss on a new area every 2 weeks, to make it look fresh and to see any weeds that will appear. Plant pachysandra in well-drained soil in a location with good air circulation. Pachysandra is a good grower in evenly moist, rich soils. It hardly covers a carpet like ground in three years, and therefore does not need very frequent pruning. Pachysandra thrives in rich, well-drained soil. The pachysandra plant thrives best in full shade. It grows from 8 to 12 inches high, eventually spreading by rhizomes to form a carpet of green. Tuck it into … Pachysandra does best in a location that is partially to deeply shaded. Clusters of tiny, off-white blossoms appear above the leaves in March and April. Plant Type . All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Pachysandra terminalis, also sometimes called spurge or Japanese pachysandra, is a useful evergreen groundcover for shady spots. ‘Green Sheen’ Japanese pachysandra has especially shiny leaves.Bob Polomski, ©2019, Clemson University. Pachysandra can be affected by various pests, including mites, scale and root-knot nematode. Too much sun causes the leaves to turn yellow. Pachysandra plants require protection from the sun not only in summer, but in winter as well. Pachysandra is deer resistant. It's a vigorous grower. If you are looking for beautiful ground cover plants and want to learn how to grow and take care of it, this is the guide you need. Although vigorous, the plant rarely ventures past garden boundaries and into lawns. The plant is commonly used as a ground cover in landscape designs because it thrives in shaded areas of your yard. Native to Japan and China, pachysandra is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 through 9. Pachysandra is an invasive perennial ground cover that spreads … Planting pachysandra now? It grows 6-8" high (sometimes even 12”) and spreads by rhizomes to form a dense carpet of rich, dark green foliage. Bob Polomski, ©2019, Clemson University. Pachysandra makes the perfect low-maintenance ground cover in shaded areas. Missouri Botanical Garden: Pachysandra Terminalis, Ohio State University: Pachysandra Terminalis, Clemson Cooperative Extension: Pachysandra, Michigan State University Extension: Abiotic Plant Disorders. Fine if it just lasts until spring when we put in pachysandra for the long term, but the bare dirt is sad-looking and people throw trash around our trees, which is awful. The creamy white flowers are borne on 1- to 2-inch spikes at the top of the stems. How to Grow Pachysandra Terrific Planting Partners. Tips on Planting Pachysandra. Pachysandra is the only satisfactory plant that will grow as a ground cover under Pine Trees. Pachysandra is one of the few plants that will grow under evergreens and in dense shade. Few ground covers can match Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) for toughness and versatility. Even shaded areas can be populated and turned green. Pachysandra’s undemanding nature also shines when it comes to planting. Japanese Spurge or Pachysandra terminalis: This is one of the most functional plants used in today’s landscape. Transplants are usually planted in the spring at a spacing of ½ to 1 foot apart. Pachysandra is used as a groundcover, particularly under trees, where it competes well for the limited sun, nutrients and water. While you try to encourage it to fill in as quickly as possible, keep in mind that pachysandra prefers a moist, rich, slightly acid soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5 is ideal) supplemented with plenty of organic matter. The flowers are white but have a pink tinge, particularly if the weather is cool. Here are some companion plants that thrive in similar growing conditions to pachysandra: Boxwood Hosta Bleeding Heart Astilbe Foxglove Camellia Hardy Kiwi Monkshood Columbine Hydrangea … Scale, an insect pest, can also be a problem. Allegheny spurge does not seem to be as susceptible as Japanese spurge. They are toothed towards the tip, 1 to 3 inches long and about half as wide. Volutella leaf blight, caused by the fungus Volutella pachysandrae, causes brown blotches on the leaves and a stem blight. Pachysandra is an easy to grow, lush, shade-tolerant ground cover that many people use to reduce lawn or to fill in places where grass won’t grow. It spreads horizontally and needs room to roam. Plant height is 9 to 12 inches, and leaf length is 3 to 5 inches. I live in New York City and would like to plant something around our street trees. It can be invasive, so be careful about planting it near areas where you don’t want it to spread. Sometimes known as Japanese spurge, Pachysandra is a small genus of very dwarf shrubs, popular for over a century for their ability to spread into a dense evergreen carpet beneath other taller shrubs. In areas where walks or driveways are de-iced in winter, pachysandra should be protected from damaging salt exposure. Pachysandra is used as a groundcover, particularly under trees, where it competes well for the limited sun, nutrients and water. New leaves emerge from the ground on long petioles up to 4 inches long. Pachysandra terminalis is perhaps the best known Pachysandra, and is fully hardy and evergreen. Rake the top 12 inches of your soil and mix in a couple inches of compost or peat moss which make the soil more conducive to water drainage. … All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Problems: Japanese spurge may be affected by scale, mites, root-knot nematode or leaf blight. Pachysandra is a slow growth plant. Pachysandra, also called Japanese spurge, is an evergreen ground cover that looks like a great idea when you plant it–after all, it stays green year round and spreads quickly to fill an area.Unfortunately, this aggressive plant doesn’t know when to stop. For these reasons, people often plant Japanese Pachysandra around the edges of … It is always best to plant on an overcast day and in shady locations. The evergreen leaves of pachysandra commonly “burn” and turn brown when grown in sunny, exposed places during the winter. When planting in heavy clay or poor soils mix in organic matter such as composted manure, bagged top soil, and or a good planting mix at a 50/50 ratio with the soil. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. This groundcover was healthy for more than twenty years. Placing a light mulch around the plants will help maintain optimum moisture levels, and that also helps keep down weeds. The dark evergreen leaves are alternate but are grouped in whorls at the top of the stems. During the last couple of years the leaves have turned yellow then the tips turn brown and curl up. Plants are evergreen in South Carolina, although the leaves may look ragged by March. Pachysandra, occasionally called Japanese spurge, spreads quickly by underground runners and makes a superb replacement for struggling lawns in shady areas. Plants are 9 to 12 inches high. Oval leaves (2-4" long) appear primarily in whorls at the stem ends. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. A small patch could be treated with a fungicide early in the season. Pachysandra will transform otherwise bare … The flower is 4 to 5 inches long. Allegheny Spurge or Pachysandra procumbens: This much overlooked plant is native from Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia to Florida and Louisiana. The plants are adapted to deep or partial shade. A fungal disease called Volutella leaf blight can cause damages to both leaves and stems. It prefers soil that has a pH on the acidic side, but it will tolerate soil in the neutral to alkaline range. The plant … Read on for information on removing pachysandra ground cover. And since I refuse to … This shade plant is native across parts of Asia and North America and will grow well as long as it is planted in shade. Planting notes. It is a rapid-growing groundcover. Growth Rate: Because of the rhizomatous nature, plants colonize an area aggressively. Volutella blight is the most destructive disease of pachysandra in the Northeast. Pachysandra terminalis ‘Cutleaf’ has deeply divided lobes that gives it an almost lacy appearance. Clip the tips of vigorously growing shoots in the spring to make the plants more dense. I typically advise 3 to 4 plants per square foot. Pachysandra produces spikes of tiny white flowers in the spring. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. Water generously at planting time and regularly for a few weeks afterward to help the plants becomes established. Q. Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. A shrubby evergreen that's about 8 inches tall, it grows as a dense, green carpet that spreads to cover areas in partial or total shade. When to Plant Pachysandra Spring and fall are the best times to add pachysandra to your garden. ‘Variegata’ and ‘Silveredge’ should be located in shade because leaves scorch in full sun. Plants are not as vigorous as the species but the leaves are more interesting. It's a hardy plant, and an ideal groundcover for problem areas, including poor soil and dense shade. Do not cut them to the ground. Bob Polomski, ©2019, Clemson University. But good drainage is key: If soils are too wet, the plant will develop root rot and die. Pachysandra plants are a favorite evergreen ground-cover that grows well in hard-to-plant areas, such as under trees or in shady areas with poor or acidic soil. It grows 20 to 30 centimeters in height, eventually spreading through the rhizomes to form a green carpet. Make sure the planting area is clear from debris before planting and that the soil is loose. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 1111 | Published: Jun 7, 1999 | Print, Pachysandra procumbens is a much overlooked native plant. The leaves are mottled purple and are coarsely toothed towards the apex. Are My Pachysandra Dead if They Are Burned From the Sun? Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Prune back the worst of them. Planting Tips. Pachysandra terminalis, also sometimes called spurge or Japanese pachysandra, is a useful evergreen groundcover for shady spots. It’s easiest to weed when the soil is slightly moist, like the day after a rain shower. You may need to prune it in five or six years. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. This plant is used extensively under large spreading trees, back of buildings or in other situations too shady for grass to grow. When planting in a sandy, quick-draining soil amending with top soil, organic compost, or peat moss will help to retain moisture and supply vital plant nutrients. They prefer moist soil, well-amended with organic matter. The plants are adapted to deep or partial shade. It is under a large tulip tree. My weed-filled lawn is driving me crazy—I’d work harder at it but there simply is too much of it. In general, small pachysandra plants should be planted between 6 and 12 inches apart, but you can plant them more densely if you wish them to fill in an area quickly. Both leaves and stems are attacked by this fungus. Although some people use the plant in their landscapes, it can be difficult to control. Marjan Kluepfel, Former HGIC Horticulture Information Specialist, Clemson UniversityBob Polomski, PhD, Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Clemson University. The most common reason that people choose Japanese Pachysandra is for ground cover in shaded areas of their garden. They all need some degree of shade and acid soils, hence their popularity for underplanting rhododendrons. When Pachysandra is planted under the required growth conditions like partial to full shade, it will thrive up to a height of about 10 inches tall. ‘Silveredge’ has thin silver-white margins and is similar to ‘Variegata. Holes for new plants should be 4 inches (10 cm.) You can encourage the plants to form more dense growth by clipping the tips of the vigorous stems in the spring. Too much sun will cause the plants to become chlorotic, or abnormally yellow. Newly planted pachysandra requires regular watering until the roots are established. Pachysandra is tough as well as attractive. Leaves develop irregular tan to brown blotches, often with concentric lighter and darker zones with dark brown margins. Q: We have a steep hill that is covered with mature Japanese Pachysandra that is dying. The Ohio State University notes that care is necessary when raking fallen tree leaves from pachysandra in the fall, since the semi-woody stems of mature plants are easily snapped. Pachysandra is considered an invasive plant by the USDA Forest Service because of its rapid growth pattern and ability to overtake other plants. Plant taxonomy classifies Japanese pachysandra, also called "Japanese spurge," as Pachysandra terminalis and as belonging to the boxwood family. The closer together you plant the Pachysandra, the faster it will fill in. ‘Green Carpet’ provides a 6- to 8-inch-tall carpet. Edge the boundaries of the area where you are planting to prevent spreading. So transplant pachysandra to those parts of the garden where other plants fail, for example where the soil is acidic or there are steep slopes. Mature pachysandra requires about 1 inch of water per week during its period of active growth. Plants growing in full sun are more susceptible. Place the plants about 8 inches apart. Pruning the plant, which in fact does not grow to be like a plant, needs special care. Although pachysandra is mainly grown for its leaves, the flowers provide interest as well. 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