The Q&A Archives: Planting in Pachysandra

Question: I just moved to a new house. It has a bed in front of a picture window approx. 3'x 15',NW exposure,acid soil. At the moment it is all pachysandra. I would like to plant within the pachysandra to avoid weeds. Can you suggest some perennials that would add interest and do well in this environment, or should I pull up the pachysandra and start over?

Answer: Pachysandra is a good, vigorous and tenacious groundcover and it would be very difficult to establish new perennials in the midst of it, or to maintain perennials in the midst of it over time. If you are serious about wanting the perennials, in my experience it would be better to remove the pachysandra completely first, then improve your soil and then plant the perennials. You should be aware however that it may take some effort to eradicate the pachysandra; you may need to pull repeatedly or combine pulling with spot treatments of a chemical weed control such as glyphosate (used according to the label instructions), or perhaps try smothering it over time beneath layers of newspaper or cardboard topped by a thick layer of mulch.

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