Pachysandra Sex Identification

Asked March 1, 2020, 12:11 PM EST

Hello, Have Pachysandra plants which are producing White Sphere ,,,?Seed Pods??? If these are Seed Pods, can they be planted and produce Pachysandra Plants ? If so, please make known specific planting instructions. AND, ,,,without a degree in Horticulture,,, how do I identify the Pachysandra Plant--Sex, upon examination in my SPRING Garden ,,, and,,, when Ordering Flats of 60+ units ??? Is there a Sex-specific Identification Number or Latin Name ? AND, what Spkring and Summer Fertilizer shuld I use on my existingf pachysandra Plants ? Please advise,

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

First, would you be able to send a picture of the plant? Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) is a commonly used species and produces fruit that fit the description you provided - white berry-like spheres. However, sending a picture would help confirm this. Other species are also used such as Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens).

Flowers usually require cross pollination (pollen from two genetically different plants) to produce these fruit. They are not usually produced in great quantities, though, because pachysandra spreads via rhizome (underground stem) and often one stand is genetically the same. I would gently squish the white fruit and see if there any small seeds inside. You can plant these seeds in potting media and mist occasionally to try and produce seedlings, but there is not much information on exact propagation protocol or success stories with seeds. One of the more common methods of propagation is taking cuttings of the plant rhizomes/leaf shoots or dividing the plants.

As far as identifying the sex of the plants, pachysandra has both male and female flowers on the same plant (also known as being monoecious). So, there is no distinct sex of each plant. Sending a picture will help confirm the species and make sure you have the proper latin name.

If it is indeed Japanese pachysandra that you have, it can be quite a prolific plant. A topdressing with compost in the spring should be enough as far as fertilizer.

Thank you so much for using Ask and Expert! I look forward to seeing the picture of the plant.