Question From: Bay Village, Ohio, United States
Q: I had a well established thick bed of pachysandra that is disappearing and looking bad. Is it possible that over aggressive raking for leaf removal is exposing or damaging the roots & runners that causes my blight? I don't normally fertilize the beds separately.
Carl, Pachysandra is tough stuff. Some gardeners mow their stands down every few years to renew it. A fungus may be your problem. Go over the issues in the section Problems of Pachysandra in Yardener.com. Brown spots on leaves indicate leaf blight fungus. Follow the suggestions in the Yardener section and treat with a fungicide. Be sure to hit the undersides of the leaves when spraying. When cleaning up in spring destroy all litter from the bed. Clean tools with a bleach and water at a 10 to 1 ration. When new growth appears spray with Serenade an organic biological containing Bacillus Subtilis. I'd fertilize the patch with an organic fertilizer such as Espoma Plant Tone and give it a pick me up of Neptune's Harvest Fish and Kelp fertilizer a month later. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.