Pachysandra "wilting"

Asked September 16, 2019, 10:46 AM EDT

Just discovered that an entire stand(large cluster) of pachysandra has "wilted". Been there for 30 plus years and has never showed any issues. Next door neighbor has same stand plus other stands. Where the wilting is seen it affects the entire stand. In close proximity are other stands entirely unaffected. Could this have been inadvertently sprayed with an herbicide by a lawn care company? Or, is it more likely caused by the extensive drought condition? Ground is quite dry.

Howard County Maryland disease issues groundcovers volutella blight

1 Response

Hi - The leaf lesions that we see in your photos are a symptom of Volutella blight. It is a common fungal disease of Japanese pachysandra that attacks both the leaves and stems. It is most severe in overgrown plantings and is also often associated with scale (insect) infestations. Please refer to our webpage for more information about it and how to manage it. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/volutella-dieback-pachysandra-groundcover

There is additional information here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/volutella-dieback-pachysandra-groundcover

This plant is also now invasive in some natural areas of Maryland and we no longer recommend planting it as a groundcover. If you find that this problem becomes difficult to manage, you may want to consider replacement with a different type of groundcover. Some recommendations are listed here. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/groundcover-list Here also is a nice list of choices that are considered deer-resistant. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/water/Resources/Files/rainscapes/12_Deer_Resist_Plants.pdf

Christa