pachysandra issue

tootswisc(z4/5Wi)May 16, 2008

I have a thriving bed of pachysandra planted around some evergreen shrubs that came with our house. This bed is right outside my kitchen sink window. I hate it. Last year I cut back giant arborvitia that blocked my view. This week I decided the pachysandra and the evergreen shrubs do not compliment each other. So now I am moving the pachysandra. I have a small oak tree and a shag bark hickory that I plan to move some to. I could have several beds of pachysandra but I am wondering if I will regret this.

How much sun will pachysandra tolerate. Will I regret having pachysandra in several places in my large yard.

I have spent many hours on this evergreen planting that came with my house. I really would love to yank it all out and plant grass. The bed sits between 2 maple trees. We have verticillium wilt in our yard so I am sure these trees will be history sometime down the line. What to do, what to do. Any advice

Thanks, Diane

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Grass needs mositure and sun to grow ideally so it is always in competition with large trees and groundcover is the best way to go. Pachy will tolerate sun if the soil conditions are optimum, good humus compost, but if you are tired of pachy, ajuga will take sun better, however become inavasive, as well as thyme but more maintainence in the years as it needs to replaced because it becomes woody. For me I prefer different things for different places.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:10AM
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I have pachysandra in a few different places. One is very sunny. I find it does ok but does not look as nice in my sunny spot. It is along the road and may be that it takes too long after winter to recover from all the crap the plow throws on it. I like pachysandra because it is not invasive. For me it is very slow growing. I started a new patch near a blue spruce I got tired of wasing grass seed near. I will add some more plugs this weekend to help it thicken up faster. I would not recommend ajuga, unless you like to thin things out. It will take over any space. I lost 90% of mine two years ago due to no snow cover and a harsh winter. You could never tell now!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:15PM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

No, you won't regret it - in fact it will save you a lot of lawn maintenance. It's much less needy than grass. I think pacysandra is a great groundcover, much better behaved than most. And being evergreen, it does not die back in the winter and leave you with bare ground like ajuga and some others do for me. In my neck of the woods, an evergreen groundcover is really beneficial in that respect. I have very large patches in the back of my yard which get full afternoon sun and thrive on neglect. I don't water, add compost or do anything to them really, and they do great. Now remember those are ESTABLISHED patches. You will have to water regularly until they take hold. Also, pachysandra does not invade the grass at all. That being said, it's quite difficult to pull out, like tangled spaghetti, so eat your Wheaties. I'd much prefer pachy to grass. It's virtually maintanence free once it gets going. My advice is to plant the starts close together and mulch - it will save you from spending too much time weeding while the patches become established. My other word of advice is to invite a few friends over to help you. Pulling out and re-transplanting pachysandra is a very labor intensive job, and the more hands, the better.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:20PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Lots of people hate pachysandra....I love the stuff!
Lots of years ago my parents moved into a house with beds with 1 azelea and the rest pachysandra. The azeleas were tucked back near the garden wall and got a fair amount of shade, but the pachysandra was in full sun. My mother tore it out and planted petunias and they thrived, so you know the are got lots of sun...and when it was there the pachy looked great...but my mother was a mulcher and a waterer.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 1:52PM
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philipw2(7 MD/DC)

pachysandra never looks dead, just mediocre. This is why I just ripped mine out. I realized I'd rather look at bare mulch 6 months a year than mediocre pachysandra 10 months and neutral looking pachysandra 2 months and good looking pachysandra one week a year.

You have many more choices than grass vs pachysandra. Read all these choices in this forum or the shrubs forum.

You have shrubs with year round interest (red twigged verigated dogwood). You have conifers. You have winter perennials.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 11:20PM
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