How to Propagate Pachysandra

Overview

Pachysandra is a low-growing ground cover that develops a carpet of waxy green leaves within about three years after planting. Pachysandra is a low-maintenance evergreen that will beautify the landscape all year round, and is especially beneficial because it will grow in very dense shade, as long as the soil has good drainage. Pachysandra is easy to propagate from stem cuttings in late spring, or by division in early spring or fall.

Propagating Pachysandra by Stem Cutting

Step 1

Cut several sturdy 3- to 6-inch stems from a healthy pachysandra with sharp pruning shears. Make sure each stem has at least two leaves.

Step 2

Fill a planting container with a mixture of equal parts potting soil and perlite or vermiculite. Be sure to choose a planting container with good drainage from the bottom.

Step 3

Dip the cut end of the cuttings in rooting hormone, and plant them with the leaves above the soil, tamping the soil down around the cutting. Try not to brush off too much of the rooting hormone as you plant the cutting. You can plant several cuttings in the same pot, but leave about 2 inches between each one so the leaves don't touch.

Step 4

Cover the planting container with clear plastic, but don't let the plastic come in contact with the stem cuttings. If necessary, put some stakes in the soil to keep the plastic above the soil.

Step 5

Put the container where it will be in sunlight, but don't put it in direct sunlight, which will be too hot. In about two months, you should be able to see tiny white roots through the drainage hole in the bottom of the container. At that time, the pachysandra cuttings will be ready to plant outdoors.

Propagating Pachysandra by Division

Step 1

Prepare planting sites before you divide pachysandra. Remove weeds, and dig a hole for each division. Add a scoop of compost to the bottom of each hole. Once pachysandra is divided, it should be planted as possible so the roots won't dry out. If you can't plant the divisions immediately, put them in the shade and cover them with a damp cloth.

Step 2

Locate a clump on the outer edge of am established pachysandra plant. Slide a sharp shovel about 3 inches under the clump to divide the roots.

Step 3

Lift the clump with the shovel. If the clump is large, use your hands to divide it into smaller clumps. Trim off any dead or damaged areas.

Step 4

Plant the pachysandra divisions in the prepared location. Keep them well watered for two weeks, and then they should be rooted and can be treated as established pachysandra.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Planting container
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic
  • Stakes
  • Shovel

References

  • Kentucky Garden Flowers: Pachysandra terminalis - Japanese Pachysandra
  • Yardener: Caring For Pachysandra
  • Ohio State University: Pachysandra terminalis
Keywords: pachysandra, stem cuttings, rooting hormone, dividing pachysandra

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.