Pachysandra, also called Japanese spurge, is an evergreen ground cover that looks like a great idea when you plant it–after all, it stays green year-round and spreads quickly to fill an area. Unfortunately, this aggressive plant doesn’t know when to stop. Read on for information on removing pachysandra ground cover.
Pachysandra is an invasive perennial ground cover that spreads throughout the garden by means of underground stems and roots. Once it gets a foothold in the garden, it is very difficult to control. Pachysandra plants can overrun your garden and escape into wild areas where it displaces native plants.
How to Get Rid of Pachysandra in the Garden
If you find your garden overrun with this ground cover, then you’ll need to know how to control pachysandra plant. There are three ways to get rid of pachysandra in the garden, and none of them are particularly pleasant.
Dig it up. Digging is hard work, but it is environmentally safe and works well in small areas. Pachysandra has a shallow root system. To make sure you get all of the roots, cut through the foliage and remove the top 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) of soil across the area where the plants grow.
Cover it with black plastic. The soil under the plastic will heat up, and the plastic will deprive the plants of sunlight and water. The drawback is that it is unsightly, and it takes three months to a year to completely kill the plants. Plants in shady areas require the most time.
Kill it with chemicals. This is a method of last resort, but if your choice is between using chemicals or giving your landscape over to pachysandra weeds, this may be an option for you.
Pachysandra Removal Tips Using Chemicals
Unfortunately, you’ll have to use a systemic herbicide to get rid of pachysandra. This kills any vegetation it comes in contact with, so use it carefully.
If you spray it on, choose a calm day so the wind won’t carry it to other plants. Don’t use the herbicide where it may run off into bodies of water. If you have herbicide left over, store it in its original container and out of the reach of children.
Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are more environmentally friendly.