Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Foliage tends to bleach when grown in too much sun. Plants thrive in sun dappled shade under large trees. For use as a ground cover, set starter plants 6-12″ apart. Plants will spread by rhizomes to form large colonies. Avoid overhead watering and thin plants periodically to promote good air circulation, particularly if plants have experienced problems with leaf blight.
Pachysandra terminalis, commonly called Japanese pachysandra, is a shrubby, evergreen ground cover which grows 8-12″ high and spreads by rhizomes to form a dense carpet of rich, dark green foliage. Oval leaves (2-4″ long) appear primarily in whorls at the stem ends. Tiny white flowers in 1-2″ long, terminal (hence the species name) spikes bloom in early spring. Flowers are not particularly showy, but on close inspection are quite attractive.
Genus name comes from the Greek words pachys meaning thick and aner or andros meaning stamen with reference to the thickened white filaments.