How to Control Pachysandra


Pachysandra is a perennial herb, grown as a ground cover. A member of the boxwood family, it is a tough, fast-growing plant. Japanese pachysandra, also known as Japanese spurge, spreads by underground stems and forms dense mats that can crowd out native vegetation. It is considered an invasive pest in Virginia and Washington D.C. Controlling pachysandra can be a challenge.

Step 1

Manually remove pachysandra if the infestation is small. Use a pitchfork to dig down into the soil and remove the entire stem and root system.

Step 2

Add a glyphosate-based herbicide to a tank sprayer at the rate suggested on the herbicide label.

Step 3

Use a tarp to cover any desirable landscape plants in the area where the pachysandra is growing.

Step 4

Spray the pachysandra with the herbicide until it is drenched and the product is dripping off the leaves. Do not water the area for at least 24 hours.

Step 5

Til the area when the pachysandra has died and rake up the dried plant material. Wait two weeks. If the pachysandra grows back, reapply the herbicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Pitchfork
  • Herbicide with glyphosate
  • Tank sprayer
  • Tarp
  • Tiller or shovel
  • Rake


  • U.S. Forest Service: Japanese Pachysandra
Keywords: manage pachysandra, control pachysandra, kill pachysandra

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.