How to Get Rid of Pachysandra


Pachysandra (Japanese spurge) covers shady growing areas in many home landscapes. With its virulent growth pattern and abundant greenery, many gardeners choose this ground cover as a solution to shady locations that will not grow other plants successfully. Some gardeners may regret starting a pachysandra bed and want to get rid of the plant. Due to the energetic growth of pachysandra, the eradication process requires perseverance and tenacity. With concerted effort, you can remove pachysandra successfully and use the growing space for a more desirable plant.

Step 1

Clip the pachysandra down to just above the soil level with the hedge clippers or with the lawn mower.

Step 2

Rake up the pachysandra growth and discard it all in the garbage bag. Do not compost the pachysandra foliage because it may contain seed spores.

Step 3

Saturate the entire pachysandra bed thoroughly with the garden hose.

Step 4

Cover the pachysandra bed with the black plastic. If you are using more than one sheet of plastic, overlap the sheets by 2 to 3 inches to ensure complete coverage. Secure the black plastic to the ground with the rocks or bricks.

Step 5

Leave the black plastic in place for two to three months. During this time, heat from the sun and moisture that builds up beneath the plastic will bake the roots of the pachysandra and eradicate the growth.

Step 6

Remove the black plastic when the vegetation beneath the black plastic appears dead.

Step 7

Pull up the dead remains of the pachysandra by hand and discard it.

Things You'll Need

  • Hedge clippers or lawn mower
  • Rake
  • Garbage bag
  • Garden hose
  • Black plastic
  • Large rocks or bricks


  • WSU Whatcom County Extension: Pachysandra, Japanese Spurge
  • University of New Hampshire Extension: Managing Invasive Species
Keywords: pachysandra, Japanese spurge, remove pachysandra

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.