Question From: Munster, Indiana, United States
Q: I have mature pachysandra beds totaling about 1000 square feet. We had a wet fall but I blew out as much leaf debris as I could. This spring and summer has also been wet. The beds have developed Volutella blight and have been treated with a fungicide several times. We are cutting the affected leaves and thinning the beds, especially to remove rotted stem/roots and give it air and light. We are continuing to see "dieback" and continue to remove what we can. Could we hand shear the beds when the temperatures drop into the 70s to 8- degree this fall? Or what would you suggest. We realize we may all 3 beds but are giving it every opportunity to recover. Thank you.
A: The issue is, if you remove all the leaves in fall the plants will have no way to "feed" themselves. In fall they store carbohydrates in the roots to get the plants going in spring. At this time I would continue to remove infected plants and leaves and treat with a recommended fungicide every 14 days. If that does not work you may need to remove all the plants and replace them with a different groundcover, such as vinca. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy