Pachysandra procumbens, Allegheny spurge

freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)June 23, 2009

Has anyone grown this? I am considering using it for a low-usage pathway in a part/mostly shade sideyard. Although its not native to Texas, or the plains/prairie, or the Southwest, its more native than its Asian cousin.

How would you describe its growth rate? I'm told its "not as aggressive" as the Asian variety, but does that mean slow or medium? Based on its growth rate, should I plant for immediate coverage and thin out later, or should I plant sparsely and wait for coverage? And if I decide later that I'm sick of it, is it removable or there for life?

~ Amy Schuh

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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

In my experience, P. procumbens is a clump-forming plant, as opposed to a spreading plant like P. terminalis.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:58AM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

Ahhh. So it's not going to "fill in" very quickly? Would I have to divide it to spread it out then?
~ freshair

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Love this plant! It will fill in, but not very quickly. I spaced mine when I planted it three years ago and now have some "solid" spots but also places where is has gone underground and popped up a few feet away. Trilliums come up through it as do other spring plants, so I think it is a good ground cover for a shady location.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 7:44PM
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Grows best in circumneutral soil, with pH of 6.8-7.2.
I have had to modify my red clay (very acidic) soil to successfully grow it and allow it to spread.
The attractive flower spikes contain both male (at the top) and many fewer female flowers at the lower end. As a result of that arrangement, a vector is not usually required for pollination. The seed are contained in a small capsule and can be a source of additional starts. Propagation is usually accomplished by division or root sections.
The foliage is most often patterned with silver veins, some will be patterned moreso than others, but they can also produce solid green foliage.

Because of your location, you may not be able to find the plants locally. Be aware that Wild collection is sometimes the source of plants available online. That is perfectly legal, if the source is from private property or with a valid permit, from public property (road construction, widening or other development areas).

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:11AM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

Thanks for the useful feedback, RB and ncrescue ~

I'm planning to order from a nursery in West Virginia, & I think he's been building his own stock. And my soil is crazy alkaline, so I had planned to use amendments to drop the ph before planting.

We have a 7ft wide sideyard that functions as nothing more than a utility path between the front/back with the a/c at the front end and garage at the back. So I'm planning to convert it into a no-mow section with a small flower bed in the center section and a path of Allegheny spurge.

~ freshair

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 2:22PM
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ladywindsurfer(Z7 SE)

I would seriously recommend that you consider another source of plants, other that the "nursery in WV".
Having dealt with the guy previously, I would classify him as a 'Huckster". Later, I found that he is well known in the Horticulture industry as a windbag, with big promises and little or no delivery.
My experience was a huge disappointment to me and I will never again, consider ordering anything from that place.
Caveat Emptor!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:02PM
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Whoa! Did I miss something, i.e., the name of the nursery that "lady" did not want you to use? I know of several very reputable nurseries from WVA that have been around for a long time. Don't put them all down! Peter Heus is particularly good with propagating his own plants. Hope that is not the person to whom you are referring.

BTW, I have very acidic soils, and Pachysandra procumbens does fine for me. (Cullina says acid.) I haven't tried to collect seeds. Is it hard?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:38PM
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You will love this plant, much better behaved than it's japanese cousin and an excellent companion to delicate woodland types, grew it professionally for years in straight pine bark so certainly recommend an acidity around 6. Also, wanted to second the recommendation on Peter Heus as an excellent, responsible grower that has many unique and wonderful plants. Bought from him many years in a row at Cullowhee conference where he has garnered much respect from professionals that wouldn't condone irresponsible propagation.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:55PM
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