A large bed of pachysandra, mostly shaded by large deciduous trees, began showing dying patches in February. It is now almost entirely dead, although the edges remain green. Is this blight and how should we handle this? Prefer to not use harmful chemicals. Can we clean all debris out and leave it bare to try to get rid of what remains in the soil, waiting til next year to re-plant? If so, other recommendations for replacements? Perhaps small native shrubs less likely to decline? Thank you.
When stressed by poor site conditions, poor soils, environmental issues, etc. plants can be susceptible to disease and insect problems.
Pachysandra can be subject to volutella, a fungal disease and euonymus scale, a sucking insect. Pachysandra grows best in moist well drained soils in partial to full shade. It will be stressed in sun.
See our website for photos and information on volutella http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/volutella-dieback-pachysandra-groundcover and euonymus scale. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/armored-scales-groundcovers
Send photos so we can see what you may be dealing with.