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Pachysandra does best in shady sites, but does not tolerate soils that are either too dry or too wet. Typical woodsy conditions are ideal, with soil that is a bit on the acidic side (pH 5.5 to 6.5) and enriched with organic matter. Plants exposed to excessive sun will be stunted and pale green. Pachysandra cannot withstand foot traffic. Its stems are succulent and easily damaged, and the plants recover slowly from physical stress. The evergreen leaves commonly "burn" and turn brown in exposed places during the winter.
Planting Nursery Stock
Pachysandra is easily transplanted from flats purchased at the garden center or from rooted cuttings taken from existing plantings in the spring or fall. If you cover the soil around new plantings with a thick layer of mulch, you can plant them any time of the year that the soil is not frozen.
Protect new plants from direct sun, plant on an overcast day, or late afternoon on a sunny day. This permits the plants to recover from transplant shock. Clear the planting area of weeds and debris, and cultivate the soil at least 12 inches deep. A small tiller does this job well in areas where there are no tree roots. Level and smooth the loosened soil, then with a trowel, dig holes 3 to 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
Remove each new plant from its container and untangle any matted roots, spreading them gently. Set each in its hole so that the roots are covered when you fill in the hole with soil, firming it gently around the plant stems. Space plants 12 inches apart, somewhat closer if you want them to fill in faster. Water generously at planting time and regularly for a few weeks afterward to help the plants becomes established.
To plant rooted pieces of pachysandra, dig a trench in the loosened soil about 3 inches deep and lay the stems along its bottom, then cover them with soil.