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Getting rid of pachysandra

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I am working on the areas in front of our house under the 2 picture windows...
This is in order to put raised beds in there.
Have pulled most of the pachysandra, but lots of roots left.
Have been working with a shovel and spade to dig up the millions of roots...
Am I doing more work than necessary (thinking that if I don't get all the roots, a mass of pachysandra will return) or can I leave the roots as they will be covered with layers of whatever you tell me and will not grow through?


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If you want to replant the area right away you should remove all the pachysandra roots becuase you are right, they will produce new shoots. Pachysandra terminalis, the common evergreen groundcover, is not so tenacious as some such as bishop's weed (Aegopodium podagraria which in its pretty variegated form is often called snow on the mountain). Yet it will try to come back.


Where the roots are difficult to remove, perhaps because they are entwined with a tree- or shrub's roots you do not want to disturb, we dig what we can and then smother the area with newspaper and a heavy mulch or at least keep it clear of new planting so we can keep coming back to nip off resurgent shoots until the roots' starch is exhausted.


Hmm. "Layers of whatever-you-tell me" sounds like you are going to ask what to plant in place of the pachysandra. If it's the kind of shaded place pachysandra likes I would plant for leaf color and texture and for stay-put species. Maybe a combination of clump forming ferns such as Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) and painted fern (Athyrium japonicum)



with foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia, here one of the many variegated leaf cultivars and in mass in bloom)




and dwarf goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius or its hybrids like 'Kneiffii.')




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