Leaves Falling Off Pachysandra - Knowledgebase Question

New Fairfield, CT
Avatar for halmullen
Question by halmullen
April 2, 1998
Last year a 10 square ft. area of healthy pachysandra had its leaves turn brown and drop off. After our snow melted last month, I found this condition had spread to 20 square ft. This planting is on an east slope of our home and has been healthy for 25 years. Pachysandra of the same strain and age is thriving on the north side of our home.
I have tried fungicides and Orthene last Fall and last month to no avail. Can you advise us?

Answer from NGA
April 2, 1998
Pachysandra is sometimes susceptable to fungus and mold that is spread and nurtured by a heavy undercover of leaves and other garden debris. We tend not to notice this build-up since the pachysandra does such a good job of hiding it.

Try raking out your pachysandra in a less than gentle manner! Pull up any affected plants. It is quite possible that you may have to pull all of it out and start over. However, since it's such a large area, I'd sure try doing a very thorough job of cleaning it up. Watch it carefully. If it continues to spread, then rethink a re-planting. However, by cleaning it up, and getting some air and sun into the patch, you may be able to pull off a miracle. Good luck! A big patch of pachysandra is a beautiful thing to behold. It seems a shame to pull it all out if it's at all possible to avoid that.

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