How To Manage Pachysandra Plants That Suffered In Drought

Question From: Andover, Massachusetts, United States
Q: I have a lot of dead pachysandra because of the drought. This is the first time this has happened. Should I remove all the dead ones the roots are yellow. I am not much of a gardener but would like to know what to do. Usually they come back very nice after the Winter, but we haven't had much rain and the town wanted us to cut down on watering. I never actually watered them before and they always grew

A: Plants cannot live without moisture, so to keep the ground cover alive when it does not rain for a few weeks it must be watered. I would remove the dead plants, roots and all. If large areas are dead you will need to replant the bare spots. I would add some compost to the soil before planting. If the soil is dry - check 4 to 6 inches in depth, water the area well. You should keep the soil moist until the ground freezes. I would also mulch the ground cover with shredded leaves. Scatter them on the plants and brush them in with a broom. The mulch layer should be 2 to 3 inches deep. After a hard frost fertilize the area with Espoma Plant Tone according the the package directions. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy