When to plant pachysandra

Growing Pachysandra Plants – How To Plant Pachysandra Ground Cover

Pachysandra is a favorite ground cover plant in hard-to-plant areas such as under trees, or in shady areas with poor or acidic soil. Unlike other plants, pachysandra ground cover does not mind competing for its nutrients, and growing pachysandra plants is easy if you have an abundance of shade in your landscape. Learn more about how to plant pachysandra and its care so you can enjoy the small white, fragrant flowers (which appear in the spring) of this low maintenance plant.

How to Plant Pachysandra

There are several varieties of pachysandra available to choose from. The recommended pachysandra growing zone for U.S. Department of Agriculture is 4 through 7.

Pachysandra is easily transplanted from garden flats or divisions in the spring. Space the plants 6 to 12 inches apart to accommodate their spread.

Pachysandra prefers soil that is moist and amended with rich organic matter. Make sure the planting area is clear from debris before planting and that the soil is loose. Holes for new plants should be 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide.

Pachysandra ground cover has evergreen leaves that will burn in the sun. It is always best to plant on an overcast day and in shady locations. Water new plants thoroughly and provide 2 inches of mulch to help with water retention.

Pachysandra Plant Care

Pachysandra requires only minimal care to look its best. New plants can be pinched back for several years to encourage bushiness.

Keep areas of pachysandra free from weeds and monitor young plants during dry weather.

Once plants are established, they can handle some period of drought; however, young plants require adequate moisture in order to become established.

Now that you know a little more about pachysandra plant care, you can enjoy this low-growing beauty in the shady spots of your landscape.

Pachysandra, also known as Japanese Spurge, is a perennial evergreen plant that is usually grown as a ground cover. It is often used for erosion control on slopes and reaches about 10 inches tall and wide. Tiny white flowers bloom for a couple weeks in late March. Pachysandra can withstand a little sun; however too much sun can kill it, so it’s best to choose the shadiest area as possible to plant your pachysandra.

Weed the planting area. Use your hands to pull at the bottom of the weeds to get the roots. You can also use a three-prong weeding tool that you dig into the soil under the weed and pull up. It’s easiest to weed when the soil is slightly moist, like the day after a rain shower.

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. While pachysandra can tolerate most soil types, it does prefer well-draining soil.

Dig holes that are twice as wide and just as deep as the pachysandra’s current container. Space multiple pachysandras 6 to 12 inches apart.

Take the plant out of the container and set it in the hole. Backfill the soil and pack the soil until it is firm. Water well.

Mulch in between the plants so weeds do not grow again. Use mulch, such as pine needles or bark mulch. After the pachysandra fill in the area, you do not need to add any more mulch.

Sometimes a garden’s color scheme is best left to the plants

By Adrian Higgins Adrian Higgins Gardening columnist February 7, 2018

The most eye-catching part of a garden plant is its flower, and the most captivating element of a bloom is its color. You might think then that designing a garden should be an exercise in painting with flowers. This idea once held a lot of sway, but color-driven garden design is, by and large, a dead duck.

Gardeners today are more relaxed about their plantings and are driven less by color schemes than the desire for naturalistic effects. We are still drawn to flowers and have our own color preferences, but the need for elaborate, color-coded borders has generally vanished.

There are ways to pinpoint plant color — the most famous is the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart, essentially paint charts with holes in them for matching chips directly with a flower — but I have never seen a gardener here use one.

This retreat from overt color design doesn’t mean that we should abandon our interest in color theory. Every gardener needs to know how color works.

To that end, we mark this week the Smithsonian’s publication of “Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours,” a reproduction or facsimile of an 1821 manual that is slender physically but a giant in its significance. It was devised by a Scottish art teacher named Patrick Syme and based on a system of color classification by a German mineralogist, Abraham Werner. The book standardized the color descriptions of scientific specimens in a pivotal era of discovery. One of its users was Charles Darwin.

But color systems are needed by artists as well, and by the end of the 19th century, color science had made the leap from botany to horticulture, most famously with the work of the Arts and Crafts garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll. She started out as a painter but turned to gardening after her eyesight deteriorated.

One unplanned white renegade. (Adrian Higgins/TWP)

While Claude Monet was capturing his garden on canvas, Jekyll was turning her unrealized paintings into gardens.

She put together planting plans for borders of hot colors and cool colors. Her favored approach was to compose a plant border that started with cool colors, moved to hot ones and then receded to the cooler ones.

This coherent artistry had great appeal and was adopted on both sides of the Atlantic. One of Jekyll’s admirers was Vita Sackville-West, whose renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle, south of London, includes a white garden aped in private gardens around the world. I prefer Sissinghurst’s Purple Border, which, as I recall, is a medley of reds, pinks and blues as well as purple, all set against a high brick wall.

The desire to group plants by color is thrilling when done well, but it leads you into a maze — you must master color theory before moving on to high-level gardening.

First, the theory. If you’ve taken an art class, you know that the appearance of a color is controlled by three components: hue, brightness (or value) and saturation.

A pastel color — seen in a pink Oriental poppy, perhaps — has high value and high saturation, making it light and bright. The pale color of a blushed peony has high value but low saturation. The rich color of a crimson gallica rose has low value and high saturation. This is explained in a book by the late Sandra Austin, who was an instructor of landscape design at George Washington University. “Color in Garden Design” was published in 1998 but still can be found online.

Austin hoped that if gardeners understood the technical attributes of color, they could use it more effectively in the landscape.

But mastering color theory is one thing; having the proficiency to create a season-long color-coordinated garden is something else.

Even if you include foliage as part of the color plan, as Austin suggests, you’d still need an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and how they grow in your garden. Sorry, but you can’t Google that; such knowledge takes years to accumulate through trial and error.

Another factor working against color gardens is our Mid-Atlantic climate, which is colder in winter than England and certainly a lot hotter in summer. This alters the plant repertoire. You can’t just crib a planting scheme from an English book.

I can think of a few instances where color-driven gardening still commends itself. The first is in garden areas of light shade, where you could put together plants in considered shades of green and white with a little blue thrown in. Foliage color would be a major element. I might suggest various hostas and ferns, grasses and sedges, Satsuki azaleas, smooth hydrangeas, fothergillas, sasanqua camellias, the native fringe tree, foamflowers, wood asters, foxgloves, Japanese anemones, rue anemones, white varieties of wood anemone and Grecian windflowers, and lots of little white daffodils followed by Virginia bluebells.

The easiest, cheapest color playground is the container, where you can pick long-flowering annuals and tropicals that conform to a given three-or-four-color scheme (or a single color).

Another simple way to play with colors is to mass-plant three or four tulip varieties in a considered color scheme. The show lasts for only a couple of weeks, but it’s a delightfully luxurious way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

How should you piece together a planting plan? It is far more satisfying to compose gardens in terms of textures, forms, heights and blocks of plants rather than color. Such compositions still pack a flower punch, but they aren’t reliant on a constant floral parade for effect. Besides, there are times when the color wheel and rules about complementary and harmonious hues seem irrelevant. Color combinations often take care of themselves, and there will be happy accidents. I am thinking of a tulip named Dordogne, which by rights should be a gaudy disaster, marrying a peachy orange ground with a flame of bubble-gum pink. It looks fabulous.

@adrian_higgins on Twitter

Tip of the Week

The best tool for cutting back ornamental grasses is a pair of sharp hedging shears. Cut the grasses two to four inches above ground level. Tall grasses such as miscanthus or panicum can be tied before cutting for ease of disposal.

— Adrian Higgins

05.11.2019| admin| 0 Comments

How far apart to plant pachysandra

I planted 3, Pachasandra plants under two 30 year old maples in my front yard. It had reached the point where it was impossible to grow grass under the. Proper spacing and regular care are the best ways to create a lush, weed-free carpet. In shady sites, large sweeps of creeping pachysandra (foreground) and . Pachysandra is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 a large swath of pachysandra, plant in an offset grid 8 to 12 inches apart.

Sometimes called Japanese spurge, pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) makes an effective ground cover in difficult areas such as dry shade. Pachysandra terminalis grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8. Pachysandra terminalis forms mats of evergreen. Pachysandra is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 a large swath of pachysandra, plant in an offset grid 8 to 12 inches apart. As long as the soil drains properly, this ground cover will grow quickly and heartily Plant pachysandra plants about 12 inches apart to allow for optimal growth.

I planted 3, Pachasandra plants under two 30 year old maples in my front yard. It had reached the point where it was impossible to grow grass under the. or acidic soil. Read here to find tips for growing pachysandra in your landscape . Space the plants 6 to 12 inches apart to accommodate their spread. Holes for new plants should be 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide. How To Plant, Grow & Care For Pachysandra Japanese Spurge . For example, plants with a recommended spacing of 24″ apart should be.

So if you have a patch of pachysandra and want to start a planting of it in If you move several plants, then space them 6 to 12 inches apart to allow room for. Proper spacing and regular care are the best ways to create a lush, weed-free carpet. In shady sites, large sweeps of creeping pachysandra (foreground) and . Where roots from trees are close to the surface, such as under maples, lindens Most soils are suitable to the growing of Pachysandra and other Ground Cover.

Pachysandra is the only satisfactory plant that will grow as a ground cover under Pine Where roots from trees are close to the surface, such as under maples. Vinca minor spreads even faster than pachysandra, and although lilies, tulips If you must buy plants, set the little sections fairly close, at about. Pachysandra procumbens is a much overlooked native plant. Transplants are usually planted in the spring at a spacing of ½ to 1 foot apart.

Caring For Pachysandra

Pachysandra needs regular watering–an inch of water a week from rain or from a watering can, soaker hose, or drip irrigation until it becomes established. Otherwise water it only during droughts and in late fall before the ground freezes. At these times, water deeply once a week.
If you have good soil with lots of organic matter added each year and if you mulch your newly planted pachysandra beds, they will need watering only when it has not rained for a week or two. If you have poor soil with little organic content or if you choose not to use mulch, then you may have to water the plants every sunny day, at least until they are well rooted. This is especially true for pachysandra growing in containers.
For more information see file on Choosing Watering Equipment.
Fertilize newly planted pachysandra at planting time or in the spring by sprinkling some fertilizer on the soil around each plant if you have not already mixed it into the soil when preparing the planting bed. Avoid getting it on the leaves.
Use a handful of fertilizer for every 4 square feet or so of pachysandra bed. If your soil contains lots of organic matter, a single application of slow-acting fertilizer will give the plants a continuous supply of nutrients through the season. If your garden soil is not terrific then consider spraying the plant foliage with some liquid fertilizer about 3 weeks after you‘ve planted them.
For more information see file on Choosing Fertilizer.
Spread a 2 to 4-inch layer of an attractive organic material like wood chips, chopped leaves, shredded bark or dried grass clippings, alone or combined with peat moss on the soil around newly planted pachysandra plants to control weeds until transplants grow together to form a groundcover carpet. This mulch also reduces soil moisture loss through evaporation, and cools the soil. It gradually decomposes and adds organic matter to the soil by means of weather and earthworm activity. This adds vital nutrients and improves its structure and drainage. After several years, the fall leaves that settle in between the established plants will provide sufficient mulch.
If some hard-to-control perennial weeds such as bindweed or thistle pop up later on, either pick them by hand, or use a broadleaf weed herbicide product containing 2, 4D herbicide. To avoid killing the pachysandra and wipe the leaves of the weeds with a cloth soaked in the herbicide product. Take care to keep the cloth from contacting the pachysandra and wear waterproof gloves to protect your bare skin.
For more information see file on Using Mulch.
Pachysandra is virtually care free. However, because it spreads, you may occasionally have to trim it back from the edges of driveways, paths and steps. This gives the yard a neat appearance.
A long established bed often benefits from periodic shearing, either with hand hedge clippers, hand grass shears, or a power lawn mower at its highest blade setting to avoid cutting the plants to the ground. This encourages sparsely growing plants to fill in and revitalizes tired foliage. If unrestrained, pachysandra tends to gradually take over. Allegheny spurge is less aggressive. It may be necessary every few years to dig up plants that grow out of bounds, but you can put these bonus plants to work elsewhere in the yard.
For more information see file on Choosing Pruning Tools.
Limit oversized pachysandra clumps by digging up clumps in early spring or fall. Slice under the clump through the root mass about 2 to 3 inches deep in the soil with a sharp shovel or spade or knife. Then roll up the densely matted plants like a rug. Trim off any dead or damaged growth and replant rooted sections of the original clumps wherever they are needed. Water well for 2 weeks.
Another way to make more pachysandra plants is to cut some 3 to 6 inch long sturdy stems with at least 2 leaves on them and put them in water or in a rooting medium such as damp builder’s sand, perlite or vermiculite. To ensure best root development in a medium, dip the cut ends in rooting hormone first. In shallow pan of damp medium make a hole with a pencil tip for each cutting, insert the powdered stem end, and then gently firm the medium around it. Space cuttings about 2 inches apart. Cover the container and cuttings with clear plastic to conserve moisture and put it in bright, but not direct, sun. The cuttings will develop new roots in about 60 days and then plant them in the prepared soil bed in your yard and water as described earlier.

Know Pachysandra’s Enemies: Two of the top reasons pachysandra often dies or thins out are from insects and disease. The most common insect problem on pachysandra is Euonymus Scale. These insects often go unnoticed and untreated for years until they are so bad that they cover the stems and undersides of leaves. This oblong, white, small scale insect essentially sucks the life out of pachysandra causing it to discolor and die off completely or in large areas. Once the population is heavy it is extremely hard to control. If you want pachysandra in your landscape beds, you’ll need to have a tree and shrub care program every year for your property. It’s just a matter of time before you will lose pachysandra without treating it regularly. Spray the pachysandra with horticultural oil according to label directions and also treat crawler (immature) stages of the insects when they hatch. Here in Central PA, best times to treat these are from late May through June for the first generation. A second generation of the insect will hatch from late July through early August, and we’ve even seen a third generation hatch if the fall stays very warm. Basically, you’re going to need to spray your pachysandra 3-5 times throughout the year depending on scale populations and weather conditions.

Another major consideration for pachysandra is the disease Volutella blight. This also causes wilting or dead areas in the bed. Individual plants will exhibit irregular tan to brown lesions on the leaves and eventually coalesce until the entire leaf dies. Inevitably, the disease will spread to stems and cause even more damage. Insect infestation, winter injury, excessive sun exposure and drought will increase the chance for this disease to grow. Moist, dark conditions will cause Volutella blight to spread, so make sure the stand of pachysandra is able to dry out. If there is excessive leaf litter under the plants, or the stand is even too thick, this will promote the disease to spread. Yes, you may need to thin out your thick pachysandra stand slightly. Fungicides can also be applied along with insecticidal sprays to reduce fungal growth during summer months when this disease begins to develop.

If this theory seems improbable, experiment now. In areas where the pachysandra appears to be thin, try raking off the leaf cover to reveal the spaghetti-like root system underneath. This uncovering may be all that is needed to free the pachysandra and encourage it to grow. The raked-off leaves should not be considered garden waste either. (Think what they will do for the backyard compost pile.)

If the bare area is vast, mow it with the blade set to cut at the normal lawn height of about three inches. In time the pachysandra should come back.

If not, there are two options. One is taking stem cuttings from healthy pachysandra plants growing in other areas of the garden. These cuttings can be inserted into the ground where they will root. (Some gardeners like to dip the cuttings in a mild rooting hormone just to be sure.)

A second option is to buy flats of pachysandra at garden centers. They are readily available and cheap. These sturdy plants can be set to fill in bare patches where they will spread out on their own.

Pachysandra is not the only plant in trouble this spring. Many gardeners have pulled up dead azaleas, rhododendrons, pieris and other woody ornamentals. Perennials seem to have survived better as their root systems were deeper under ground.

What gardeners are seeing this spring is not just damage from a severe winter. The plants are also showing stress signs of the severe drought that was experienced in the Northeast last summer and fall. Many of the woody plants went into the winter months starved for soil moisture and they were not able to survive both onslaughts.

Many plants also succumbed to highway salt damage, particularly those growing close to the road and driveways. Browned foliage, broken stems and delayed, sparse flowering are sure signs. Pruning out obvious dead parts is essential along with a patient, wait-and-see attitude.

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