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Japanese Spurge

Pachysandra terminalis

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Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Pachysandra terminalis flowers

Pachysandra terminalis flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Description:

A highly regarded evergreen groundcover, exceptional performance in deep shade, actually dislikes hot sun, one of the few that does well beneath mature shade trees; prefers highly organic, acidic soils, will benefit from snow cover in colder regions

Ornamental Features

Japanese Spurge features tiny spikes of white flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring. Its glossy narrow leaves remain forest green in color throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Japanese Spurge is a dense herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Japanese Spurge is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Japanese Spurge will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for poor, acidic soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Groundcover  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers 
Ornamental Features