Pachysandra terminalis is a beautiful, lush, evergreen ground cover for a semi-shady spot. One of the most common problems with pachysandra is a fungal infection called, Volutella Blight. Generally, pachysandra has very few issues when well cared for. However, when other situations stress the plant out, opportunistic pests can take over.
Volutella Blight has a fungal ring associated with the damaged lesions. Winter damage has an even-toned brown to the damage.
How to not stress out your pachysandra:
- Plant it in a partial shade or shade area. Not in the sun.
- Do not overwater, water in the morning and use drip irrigation, not overhead.
- Be sure to do a fall cleanup to remove any fallen leaves or plant debris from the bed to improve air circulation and reduce moisture levels. Blow lightly with blower.
It is also helpful to periodically thin the planting to prevent dense growth and increase air circulation. Use leaf mulch, not woody chips.
Blight on the left / Winter damage on the right
Fungicides such as mancozeb and maneb can be used to protect remaining plants and the new growth of any pachysandra that have been cut back. These treatments can help deter infection but will not cure infected plants. You would need to spray at 7 to 14 day intervals from spring until early summer. Generally this time would coincide with the blooming of serviceberries (Amelancheir) and Redbuds (Cercis canadensis).
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