Pachysandra is short, shrubby vegetation belonging to the boxwood family (buxaceae) that is most commonly used as a ground-covering plant in shady areas. It has deep green leaves and can grow small white flowers in the springtime. These drought-tolerant plants grow up to one foot tall and two feet wide. They are mostly evergreen perennials, though some leaves can be deciduous in particular hardiness zones. \n\nThere are two main types of pachysandra: Japanese pachysandra, and Allegheny pachysandra. Japanese pachysandra originates in China and Japan and is considered more invasive, while Allegheny pachysandra is native to the United States and is easy to control.\nJapanese and Allegheny pachysandra are the two main types of pachysandra, but there are a few different cultivars that fall into those categories. \n\n1. __Japanese spurge (*Pachysandra terminalis*)__: Japanese pachysandra is an herbaceous perennial with glossy, dark green leaves. These plants can grow eight to 12 inches tall. *P. terminalis* is a more rigid and upright version of the spurge plants. \n2. __Green carpet (*Pachysandra terminalis*)__: Green carpet is a shorter, more compact version of Japanese spurge, usually growing to a maximum height of about eight inches. \n3. __Silver edge (*Pachysandra terminalis*)__: Silver edge is another version of Japanese spurge that has variegated green foliage lined with white edges. Silver edge is a slow-growing and shorter species than the standard *P. terminalis*. \n4. __Allegheny spurge (*Pachysandra procumbens*)__: *P. procumbens* is less stiff than Japanese pachysandra, and contains fragrant white flower clusters that grow on a fleshy stalk that emerged low on the stem. Some Allegheny leaves contain traces of purple colors and have a softer and less shiny appearance than *P. terminalis*.\nPachysandra plants can make useful additions to your garden or yard. Here are some of their common uses. \n\n1. __Deer-resistant ground cover__: Pachysandra is most commonly used as an effective, pest-resistant ground cover. For this same reason, you also typically don’t find many ticks in pachysandra. \n2. __As a decorative border__: Pachysandra makes a great decorative border for your yard or other landscaping projects. However, these short plants should not be planted in areas with high foot traffic. They also cannot tolerate vigorous raking. \n3. __Erosion control__: Pachysandras are non-climbing and spread horizontally through underground rhizomes. The underground root system helps the plant form colonies, making them especially effective for controlling soil erosion.\nPachysandra should be planted in the early spring or early fall. It most commonly thrives in USDA [hardiness zones](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/guide-to-planting-zones) 3 through 9, depending on the variety. Pachysandra prefers full shade and deepens in color when it’s out of the harsh sunlight.\nPachysandra is often cultivated using clonal species, so seeds are not commonly used for planting. Instead, pachysandra is propagated through bare-root stem cuttings which you can find from your local garden center. Here is how to grow pachysandra. \n\n1. __Choose your planting area__. Choose a shady spot for your pachysandra because direct sunlight can burn its leaves. You can also grow pachysandra successfully in areas of partial shade, but try to find a spot under plenty of trees so that it gets full shade. \n2. __Prepare your soil__. Pachysandra prefers slightly acidic soil. Amend your soil pH so that it falls in the 5.5 to 6.5 range. Pachysandra can grow in nearly any type of soil, as long as it’s well-draining. \n3. __Plant your cuttings__. Plant your pachysandra on an overcast day to avoid the threat of the sun. Dig holes for your cuttings that are four to five inches deep, and six inches in diameter. Pachysandra spreads horizontally, so keep the spacing of your planting holes six to 12 inches apart. Cover with soil, then water thoroughly.\nPachysandra is low-maintenance and easy to grow, but you may want to follow the following growing tips to help this evergreen ground-cover thrive. \n\n1. __Water regularly__. Pachysandra needs to be watered regularly until the roots are established. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. \n2. __Check for pests and disease__. Pachysandra is largely resistant to most pests and disease, though it is susceptible to leaf blight. Volutella blight, also known as leaf blight, compromises the foliage and stems of your pachysandra plants. You can apply a fungicide to the plants in order to treat the blight disease. Pachysandra is also susceptible to scale, which are aphid-like bugs that can be eliminated with insecticidal soap. \n3. __Fertilize your ground cover once a year__. Pachysandra needs very little care, but you can apply an organic fertilizer around once a year to keep the nutrients in the soil balanced. \n4. __Prune your shrubs__. Use a pair of clean shears to cut back your pachysandra plant before the new growing season begins. You can also clip the tips of the plant in the spring to encourage air circulation and more dense growth. \n5. __Mulch__. Mulching with organic matter around the base of the plant can help maintain moist soil and provide additional ground cover to smother weeds.\nGrow your own garden with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.\nPachysandras are easily-grown plants known for their mass of green leaves that provide thick ground cover.