Using Pachysandra

As long as it is not planted in full sun, pachysandra is a perfect low-maintenance groundcover for large or small areas. As a living mulch beneath trees--even densely-rooted beeches, maples and oaks, where little else will grow--it keeps down weeds, helps the soil retain moisture, and serves as a barrier to protect tree trunks from injury by yard care equipment.
Pachysandra is particularly useful as a substitute for grass on steep banks that are difficult to mow, as well as along walkways or steps. It combines especially well with spring bulbs, effectively masking their dying foliage after they bloom. Azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas, ferns, and other foundation plantings are more attractive when grown in a bed of pachysandra.

Attracting wildlife: Pachysandra flowers are not special by our standards, but they are valuable to honeybees and contribute to the spring honey flow.

Cutting and displaying: While pachysandra leaves still look good in the fall, try harvesting some well-formed leafy stems and arranging them in a vase of water laced with some citrus based carbonated soda or floral preservative to keep them fresh. Mix with other foliage and flower combinations for a variety of textures and effects.

Pachysandra in Containers: Pachysandra will grow in any kind of traditional plant container such as a tub or large clay pot on a shaded porch or patio. It also makes nice filler for a partially shaded windowbox, setting off bright annuals in the summer and providing evergreen foliage all winter.
Be sure to fill containers with good quality soilless potting mix rather than garden soil. This mix is lighter than ones containing soil. It drains better and is sterile so that most disease problems can be avoided. Because the mix lacks soil and its nutrients, mix in some all-purpose slow acting granular fertilizer when you plant, or water the plants every few days with a very dilute liquid fertilizer added to the water. If you put your plants in vulnerable locations such as a patio exposed to warmer west or southwest winds, or in an elevated location, they may need a slightly larger container than those that are less exposed.

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