My pachysandra has been severely affected by both scale and Volutella blight...
My pachysandra has been severely affected by both scale and Volutella blight for several years. I have thinned it a lot this week. And in the worst area, I cut off all the leaves, which is okay because I see little new leaf buds. So, I would prefer not to use chemicals that hurt bees and birds. Is it reasonable to think that regular applications of Neem oil will adequately manage both scale and V. blight? I read somewhere that it will. But that seems hard to believe. Any advice? Timing? thanks,
See our website below for photos and more information on managing the beds culturally. Remove/trim back and thin plants/vines with severe symptoms. Removal of fallen debris and clean up of old leaves etc. will also help reduce the amount of moisture trapped and will promote faster drying of the planting bed. Pachysandra can be susceptible to euonymus scale. The scale and volutella should be less of a problem since you have thinned and cleaned out the bed.
Also, check the drainage in the area as Pachysandra can be susceptible to root rots if the area does not drain well.
We have no research that Neem will control volutella or scale. You will have to monitor the groundcover this season for any new infestations of scale. Monitor for crawlers in May through June and August through September. You may need to spray with a horticultural oil at the summer rate. You will need to get good coverage.