A large patch of my pachysandra covering was ripped up by trucks last May. See the white oval in the picture.

I was expecting it to come back during the summer but I didn't. What can I do the bring it, or help it come back, this summer?

I live in Philadelphia, PA.

enter image description here

Update: Went over there and took a few pictures. Looks like it's coming back on its own, doesn't it? Close-up of the "dead" area

  • Looks as if that area is traversed more than seldom. That right there will kill a ground cover. Could you provide a close up view of the 'healthy' plants?
    – stormy
    Feb 23, 2018 at 1:51

2 Answers 2


It may be the roots were destroyed, in which case, it won't grow back. You can check by digging around a bit to see if the roots are still there and are viable. If not, then selecting odd plants here and there from the other patches and transplanting them into the bare area should work, but will take some time to spread out and fill the area. If you want to do that, wait till spring is just beginning, and ensure you water well and keep watered as necessary.

Otherwise, for quicker results, it means replanting with newly purchased plants.

  • What does a viable root root look like? Or will I see some young shoots come spring?
    – Wynne
    Feb 20, 2018 at 21:05
  • 1
    Well if you dig around, you'll find out if the soil is full of white roots, and yes, if you see any green coming off them. But if there was no growth last year, and you had enough rain, sounds like the roots might have been killed.
    – Bamboo
    Feb 20, 2018 at 21:57
  • Is there a way to help the surviving roots? E.g. aerating the soil or adding some nutrients?
    – Wynne
    Feb 20, 2018 at 22:23
  • You can apply a nitrogenous feed in spring, that might help if the roots are okay. That means something with a higher N than it has PK (as in NPK)...
    – Bamboo
    Feb 21, 2018 at 0:02

It's dead.

Go into the area of live pachysandra. Dig some up, plant it where the dead pachysandra was growing, water as needed, await results. Dig small sections in separated spots so as not to impact the overall look of the live section much. Eventually it will fill in. You'll be working to make a grid of new plants that will minimize how far it has to grow to fill in, without making the area you are digging from hard to fill in for what you are leaving there.

  • When is the right time to do it?
    – Wynne
    Feb 21, 2018 at 13:40
  • 1
    Spring or early summer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 21, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    @Wynne, I agree with Ecnerwal. I've done it myself in late June in the Northeast United States (Massachusetts), after the ground has been fully thawed for a few weeks. It needed a fair amount of steady watering, but the roots took hold. It grew right away, and only took one season to fill in, although it was much fuller the second summer. It might be quicker for you because your climate is a bit warmer than mine. I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results. Feb 22, 2018 at 1:04

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