Dying groundcover

Asked April 2, 2016, 10:59 PM EDT

Hi. My ivy and pachysandra are dying out, like they've been burned by chemicals or are suffering from a disease. The problem is scattered around the yard, but is prevalent in my front yard. Thoughts?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Looks like winter damage. Also, these groundcovers (english ivy & pachysandra) can be susceptible to fungal diseases If the bed was neglected and filled with old debris like accumulated leaves. The beds need to be renovated and managed culturally such as thinning the vines, pruning old foliage, remove fallen debris, leaves, etc. to promote good air circulation and light. This reduces the amount of moisture trapped and will promote faster drying of the planting bed.
English ivy can be invasive if planted near natural areas such as woods or parks. If allowed to grow up trees it can produce flowers and berries which can be spread by birds. If you can, keep the ivy in bounds. The plant is very hardy and should rebound. You also have the opportunity to remove the english ivy and replant with another groundcover or low growing shrub. Matching the plant to the site - sun versus shade. https://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/hehe1.htm