All About Pachysandra Ground Cover

By Heidi Green , last updated April 1, 2011

Pachysandra is a leafy plant somewhat similar in appearance to ivy. Commonly referred to as "green carpet," this plant is used as a ground cover. Many gardeners love pachysandra because it will thrive in areas where most other plants won't and can even grow in full shade or areas crowded with tree roots. If you're interested in planting pachysandra in your yard, consider these care and maintenance tips.

Planting Pachysandra

Though pachysandra isn't terribly picky about where it grows, it prefers rich, fertile soil. Before planting pachysandra, you may want to amend the existing soil by tilling lightly and adding compost. The best way to grow pachysandra is to purchase it in pre-grown flats. These contain half a dozen or more small pachysandra plants which will spread over time. When you're ready to plant, space the pachysandra plants a foot apart from one another until you've covered the surface and perimeter of the area. Water thoroughly and apply a slow-release fertilizer. As your pachysandra plants grow, they will spread to cover the area.

Pachysandra Care and Maintenance

In early spring, you should prune your pachysandra to encourage healthy new growth. Use shears to trim the plants back, which will encourage bushiness and density, but be careful not to trim them to the ground. A light or medium snip will do. It's also important to remove leaves and debris from your pachysandra plants. Because they can grow to be somewhat tall, leaves and debris often get trapped inside of the plants and go unnoticed. This can inhibit air circulation and cause pachysandra to be infected with disease and pests. To remove leaves and debris from your pachysandra ground cover, use a rake to gently sweep the tops of your plants, but be sure not to tear them from the ground, as this can damage the root system.

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