The Q&A Archives: Pachysandra Under Shrubs

Question: I have planted pachysandra around the shrubs in my yard. Now it is so thick I am wondering whether it will injure the other plants. Can I leave it alone or should I try to remove it? If I leave it, how should I care for the area?

Answer: Pachysandra is often used as a groundcover between shrubs. Assuming the shrubs are well established and healthy, the groundcover should not cause them any problems. Ongoing maintenance might include a topdressing of compost and/or a balanced fertilizer in early spring and possibly again in early summer. In fall you might rake off fallen leaves if they are very thick and are matting down the pachysandra, otherwise in my experience it is okay to leave them in place to rot down and eventually help feed the soil. (Some gardeners will go so far as to rake off the leaves, shred them and return them in the form of mulch.)

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