How to Care for Pachysandra


Pachysandra is an evergreen ground cover, native to Asia and North America and hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8. Depending on the species, typically the plant will grow 8 to 20 inches tall and produce small white flowers in the summer. Japanese spurge, the most commonly grown variety of pachysandra, is generally used as a ground cover in shade gardens.

Step 1

Grow pachysandra in well-draining soil in a shady area. Spring and fall are the best times to plant pachysandra.

Step 2

Water the plant regularly and deeply, at least once a week, to maintain a moist soil.

Step 3

Fertilizing the pachysandra will only need to be done once, in the spring. Apply a slow-release plant food, according to bed size and package directions.

Step 4

Pachysandra does not require pruning. If the plant is spreading into other areas, you can trim it back with small clippers.

Step 5

Keeping the planting bed free of debris and dead organic matter will provide a pest-free environment for the pachysandra. It is prone to two different types of scale and both can be managed with insecticide. Your cooperative extension service or local nursery can help you to determine which variety of scale has infected your plant. Pachysandra is also prone to a fungus disease called blight that can be treated with a fungicide.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Hand clippers
  • Insecticide, if needed
  • Fungicide, if needed


  • Yardener
  • Penn State Master Gardeners

Who Can Help

  • Pennsylvania State University Extension
Keywords: pachysandra, japanese spurge, groundcover for shade

About this Author

Bridget Kelly has been a writer since 2005. With a background in real-estate sales, she blogs professionally and provides articles to national and regional real-estate websites and publications. An apprentice master gardener, Kelly enjoys gardening and writing about gardening topics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.