Japanese Spurge, Pachysandra

Pachysandra terminalis

Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Pachysandra (pak-ih-SAN-druh) (Info)
Species: terminalis (term-in-AL-iss) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Montgomery, Alabama

Prescott, Arizona

East Shore, California

Decatur, Georgia

Bloomington, Illinois

Caseyville, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Pekin, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Derby, Kansas

Prospect, Kentucky

Falmouth, Maine

Skowhegan, Maine

Hopkinton, Massachusetts

Rockport, Massachusetts

Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Holland, Michigan

Plainwell, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Lake George, Minnesota

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri (2 reports)

Englewood, New Jersey

Whippany, New Jersey

Jefferson, New York

Kingston, New York

Cary, North Carolina

Concord, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Oak Ridge, North Carolina

Rowland, North Carolina

Sugar Grove, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Niles, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Salt Lake City, Utah

Fairfax, Virginia

Herndon, Virginia

Oakton, Virginia

Issaquah, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Muscoda, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 5, 2014, cazort from Jenkintown, PA wrote:

Aggressive, hard to remove, shuts out other plants. Not good for the local ecology. Can persist for years in abandoned gardens, and spread into adjacent wild areas.

I have had this in several gardens where I have gardened...and I hate it. It is one of the first plants I try to remove, and removing it is hard work. It resprouts from a network of underground roots, and takes repeated work to get rid of it.

There are many better ground covers. There is a native pachysandra, Allegheny spurge, but I actually prefer a number of other plants, especially white wood aster, as a replacement.


On May 13, 2012, rickc304 from Niles, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is a cold hardy, evergreen, groundcover which bears very fragrant, small white flowers in early spring.


On Mar 11, 2011, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

My Mother and Grandmother grew Pachysandras groundcover in my childhood home in the catskill mtns near Kingston NY, along with Periwinkles which i think were vinca bowles variety but im not sure.anyway what im getting at, is that Pachysandras are not only a really cool, neat groundcover, but a wonderful memory for me..peace..mike.


On Apr 7, 2010, diamonddi from hollister, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant has provided our landscape with beautiful erosion control year round. It grows beautifully in the sun and in the deep shade, for me. However, I do give it plenty of water in the summer. It is easily pulled up (roots and all) if you find it growing out of bounds.



On Jan 16, 2006, raywestmi from Holland, MI wrote:

It is a good ground cover, but it is taking over my garden and moving into my lawn. It sends shoots over 3 ft into my grass, and it makes a dense root mass up to 24" into the ground. It is overgrowing many other plants in my garden. It is January 16, and it is the only thing green with leaves.


On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a fair enough groundcover, but a bit common and plain for me to want more than a small area of it. In my garden it blooms in April, but they are rather insignificant blooms. My information says it is hardy in zones 3-9.


On Jul 12, 2004, zorba from Lake George, MN (Zone 3a) wrote:

I've had this plant in my yard for over ten years and it has done extremely well. One of the first to bloom in spring and a vibrant green through out the summer. It has spread slowly, but has made a solid carpet and looks great. All this in Zone 3a.


On Apr 8, 2004, Michael_PS from Cleveland, OH wrote:

I agree with the others - pachysandra is maintenance-free. It survives winter, dog's walking over it, and just about anything. And it grows good and looks great! The photo on this site looks like it came from my back yard!


On Sep 15, 2003, Bricca from Sugar Grove, NC wrote:

This is a great groundcover - attractive year-round. Tolerates traffic from our five dogs, and allows perennials to poke up through it very well. Has a very natural, native woods look. Looks great without any care at all.


On Apr 2, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Potentially invasive if grown in loose fertile soil. Otherwise is very well-behaved, and even tolerates some amount of foot-traffic.

A late freeze will prevent its blooming, otherwise completely carefree groundcover.


On Aug 3, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Excellent groundcover. Stays green all year long and requires very little maintenance.