Name! That! Plant!
April 11, 2016 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Our front garden beds are covered in this vine-like green monster- what is it? Trying to determine if it's an actual weed or something that was planted on purpose. Either way, I want to get rid of it, so tips on that would also be helpful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pachysandra. Dig it up. Then continue to dig bits out for a couple of seasons.
posted by sciencegeek at 8:58 AM on April 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, pachysandra. Probably intentional.
posted by jon1270 at 9:09 AM on April 11, 2016

I loves me some pachysandra. It's fantastic ground cover. It stays where it is without climbing, so there's no need to mulch, and it is so dense it crowds out weeds. We have it in all of our garden beds and around most of our trees. It will all turn green in a month or so, and it gets small white flowers all over it. If you have other areas that could use something like that, just dig some up and transplant it, just make sure a small hairy root area (it's along the vine part) goes underground. Pachysandra is one of those "sleep, creep, leap" plants - if you transplant it this year it won't do much of anything until next year. If you don't have any use for it, just pull it slowly (the faster you tug, the more likely it is to break before you get to the root). Better yet, ask if anyone else wants some (it can be expensive at nurseries) and if they do they have to come dig it up themselves ;)
posted by the webmistress at 9:10 AM on April 11, 2016

Have fun trying to get rid of it. I have it everywhere. It's really spindly and digs deep and broad. You will be fighting this for years -- but it is possible. Dig up as much as you can, and every time you see one sprouting, dig it and as much of its roots as you can. You'll pull on a tint sprout and find it connected to a much larger web underground. It really just goes on for days.

It's wonderful ground cover if you want it, but a beast when you have decided you no longer do.
posted by archimago at 9:13 AM on April 11, 2016

Pachysandra is the enemy of baseballs. A good, solid cover of it can hide an infinite number of baseballs in a decidedly finite area.
posted by plinth at 9:33 AM on April 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Pachysandra is great for dry shade and there aren't a huge number of plants that relish dry shade. It is also, I'm my experience, deer resistant.

I am not a fan but I understand why people use it. You almost can't kill it. It stays green pretty much year round and you can stomp through it without leaving visible damage.

It is non-native (the native Pachysandra procumbens is much less enthusiastic about covering space and dies back in the winter) and can be invasive especially in an environment that has extreme deer population where the deer eat everything else.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:58 AM on April 11, 2016

Thanks for the feedback! I figured it was probably almost impossible to kill; I'm still going to give it a shot.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:06 AM on April 11, 2016

It's possible -- you just have to stay on top of it. Get the little sprouts early when they first pop out. I have whole sections of the yard that I have cleared of it, but I still have to, years later, keep a diligent eye on not letting it creep. Even if your neighbor has it and doesn't tame it, it will find it's way into your yard.
posted by archimago at 11:50 AM on April 11, 2016

Long overdue update- you guys were not kidding about the roots. A rainy spring made the ground soft and I was able to pull out a lot of it, but it will still hard work! I do see little bits creeping back, going to do more work this fall!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:50 AM on September 30, 2016

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