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The Dickmännchen (Pachysandra) is an ideal groundcover, which is well suited for planting trees and shrubs, but also whole front gardens are planted with this plant.
It is particularly useful as underplanting of deciduous trees, because the leaves that are thrown off these trees in the autumn, disappears between the plants and forms a humus layer there, which benefits the thick-males as well as the trees. The Dickmännchen is also sold under the name Ysander. It is evergreen, about 20 to 30 centimeters high and flowers in the period from April to May with small white flowers. This plant comes in various foliage colors from light to dark green to multi-colored leaves. However, for households with animals that like to nibble on the plants, the male is not as good as its leaves are poisonous.
Location for Dickmännchen
The Dickmännchen is best suited for a partially shaded to shady location. Although it can be planted in the sun, it may be that its leaves are lighter or even yellow. The plant makes no special demands on the soil - but should be reasonably moist and rich in nutrients. With the pressure of the roots of other plants has the Dickmännchen no problems and can therefore be combined with a variety of woody plants.
Plants and planting distance
If larger areas are to be planted with the tall man, this requires about eight plants per square meter. In a smaller group, the individual plants are set at a distance of about 30 centimeters. Dickmännchen form subterranean foothills through which further plants emerge very close. However, they grow at a rate of five to ten centimeters a year, so it may take a few years for a closed surface to form.
Although it can be planted all year round, the best time to do so is spring or fall, because during this time the soil is usually wet enough so that not too much time is spent on maintenance. When planting in the middle of summer, however, especially in the first time to ensure adequate irrigation.
Thick-males suppress weeds, which is why the care required in beds with these plants decreases over time. However, as long as no closed surface has formed, the weeds should always be removed carefully by hand, because the Wurzelausläufer over which the Dickmännchen spread, are very close to the surface and are therefore easily torn when hacking. In winter, the thick-males need no special care, because they are good winter hardy.
If the Dickmännchen become too tall or spread too far, they can be shortened the whole year. If they spread too far into the garden, the subterranean root extensions must also be removed in order to curb growth. These root shoots are best tapped with a spade.
Dickmännchen are most easily propagated through their foothills. These can be cut off in spring or autumn from the plant and moved to another location in the garden. Also an increase over cuttings is possible. These are best cut in the fall of the existing plants and immediately put in pots with seed soil. Cuttings of the thick-males usually need a few months until the first leaf growth, therefore, the propagation over the Wurzelausläufer is preferable in any case.
- Type / Family: Half-shrub. Belongs to the family of boxwood plants (Buxaceae).
- Care: Low. Undemanding and robust
- Flowering period: April to May with rather inconspicuous, small, cream-colored to whitish-green flowers sitting in terminal grapes
- Foliage: evergreen. Dark green, small, narrow, leathery, serrated leaves. Are arranged whirl-like on wiry stems
- Growth: subshrub with tightly erect shoots. Spreads through slow-spreading foothills and then acts as groundcover
- Height: 20 to 25cm
- Habitat: Shady, tolerates partial shade with little sun. Permeable moist soil
- Planting time: Anytime as long as the soil is not frozen
- Cut: pruning at 1/3 after flowering to encourage re-emergence. Use a pair of scissors (although some people recommend using the grass trimmer as a work aid), otherwise the plant looks very tattered
- Propagation: Spreads itself. Runners can also be removed
- Care: Leave some humus or fallen leaves in spring, which is converted from soil organisms to humus. keep soil moistured
- Wintering: Winter hardy
- Illnesses / Problems: When leaves turn bright yellow this is usually the sign of too hot a location with too much sun
- Special features: Very good weed stopper