Monday, June 13, 2011

pachysandra, spawn of the devil

Pachysandra and ivy were the groundcovers of choice when our neighborhood was built 30 years ago.  There’s an ivy post waiting to be written but not until Pat, Jimmy and I embark upon our annual ivy eradication weekend. Pachysandra is our problem at the moment. That evergreen, slow growing ground cover overwhelms everything in its path. For the last who knows how long, we’ve tried to plant hosta in the pachysandra beds. I overdig a hole, attempting to rid the planting area of roots. We use sweet peet in the planting areas and add additional sweet peet every year. The hostas love the planting areas the first two years. By year three, the pachysandra roots are strangling the hosta. Robust plants turn into little starter plants just trying to hang on. I know when to quit or at least get sneaky. Na, na, na. We put some of our big hosta in pots. There, pachysandra, spawn of the devil, strangler of all things hosta, take that. I know that we said no more pots last year, well actually we say that every year, but these pots and the hosta look really cool.










8 comments:

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

I always wanted my pachysandra to grow and spread, but I planted it under the big conifers where the soil is poor and dry. Well, maybe I shouldn't regret that it grows very slow! I didn't know that it's such a dangerous plant! Thank you Jim!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jim and Pat,

I have Pachysandra Green Sheen on the north side of my house. It seems very controlled not spreading like the regular variety. It is beautiful as it glistens in the shade or filtered sun. It is not easy to find.

My daughter pulled out a huge amount of the regular one last year and it is still popping up throught he mulch.

Eileen

Kris said...

I love the look of the hosta in those colorful pots! Question is: do the pots/hostas stay out all winter?

I love my pachy... yet I can never get it to grow under my viburnum or red-twigged dogwood. They wither and die. Maybe pachy is like a cat -- they know when they are around someone who doesn't like them, so won't leave you alone. Contrary, like me, I baby them - and they die. *sigh*

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I would have been happy to have been cursed like that by Pachysandra in our first garden. It was so shady nothing would grow. I'd heard it could be vigorous, but in 7 years it hardly spread at all! Clearly it wasn't as happy in my garden as it is in yours!

Kalipso said...

Now you make me scared of Pachysandra 'cause I have some planted around Hosta. Well, I have to keep it under control on time.
Looks super though, especially with the Hostas in pots.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Jim, I planted pachysandra around a tree once (and it was confined to the bed), so I had No Idea that it was so crazy! (Actually, I had a glimmer of its potential when I tried removing it all this Spring.) I cannot imagine the job ahead of you. (I'd help if I lived closer... honest!)

Hoover Boo said...

Beautiful Hostas. I wish we could grow them here--or maybe I don't, because then there would be one more collection of plants to care for.

Pachysandra is not grown here--not sure why, but after reading your post I'm glad it is not around!

David said...

I don't have any pachysandra but I do have my own hell weed. If anyone ever offers you artemisia "limelight", immediately throw a rock at them. It thrives on "roundup" and has proven to be indestructible. I'm not sure it isn't an alien life form.