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A section of our pachysan... #122343 - Ask Extension

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A section of our pachysan... #122343

Asked April 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT

A section of our pachysandra bed has turned yellow and died back. Replanting produced same results. Have trouble getting other things to grow there, also. We don't note any other changes with the area. Could it be in soil? What else can we do? Thanks!!

Summit County Ohio

Expert Response

The most common type of fungal infection on pachysandra is Volutella pachysandrae. It is a very destructive fungal disease and causes damage to plantings like you describe. I am including three fact sheets on pachysandra diseases for you to look at. One each from Purdue, Cornell and the Morton Arboretum: 

http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/PPDL/weeklypics/6-6-05.html
http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/pachysandraleafblight.pdf
http://www.mortonarb.org/tree-plant-advice/article/734/ground-cover-diseases.html

You need to look at the growing conditions in your Pachysandra bed.  Did it have snow on it for an extended period? Is it in an unusually wet area?  Did you remove shade sources that put the plants in full sun?  Pachysandra leaf blight's occurrence is often the result of the plants being under stress for some reason - drought, winter injury, insect infestation and overcrowding.

To get a positive identification of the pathogen causing your problem, I would suggest sending a sample of infected tissue that exhibits the damage to the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic. Go to their website at http://ppdc.osu.edu/, for information on how to send a sample and the fees involved.

Good cultural practices are important for healthy pachysandra. Remove all diseased plants and thin your beds for good air circulation. Once you know the disease, you can then apply the specific fungicide recommended.  Always be sure to rake your pachysandra in the fall to remove dead leaves and loosen matted plants.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to send pictures of you plants or ask additional questions.
Thanks,
Cheryl
Cheryl Manson - MGV Replied April 19, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT

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