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How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2024

Ajuga Plants

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2024

Here are some tips for growing and caring for ajuga plants:

  • SoilAjuga plants prefer well-drained, moist soil, but can tolerate drought and dry soil. If your soil is poor, you can add compost around the plant every one or two years in the spring.
  • WaterWater ajuga plants regularly until they are established, but less frequently if planted in the fall. A potted blue bugle plant needs 0.8 cups of water every nine days if it doesn’t get direct sunlight.
  • SunlightAjuga plants can grow in full sun to part shade in cooler climates, but prefer some afternoon shade or filtered sun in the South.
  • FertilizerAjuga plants are light feeders and don’t usually need fertilizer. You can add organic compost or a slow-release, granular fertilizer to the soil when needed.
  • ThinningThin ajuga plants every three years or so to prevent overcrowding.
  • DividingLift and divide ajuga plants every two to three years in the spring or fall to keep them healthy.
  • RunnersPeriodically remove some of the runners to keep the ground cover in line. You can also lift the runners up and point them in the right direction.
  • TrimmingAfter flowering, you can mow or trim back the spent flower stalks to encourage new growth. 
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How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2024

They can take sun to partial shade, although the foliage develops its best color in full sun. Easy to grow in almost any kind of soil, ajugas like a moist location that drains easily, but they can withstand short periods of drought.

Ajuga, commonly known as bugleweed, is a low-growing perennial that is often used as a ground cover. Here are guidelines for growing and caring for Ajuga plants:

1. Location:

  • Ajuga prefers partial to full shade but can tolerate some sun.
  • Well-drained soil is essential. Ajuga is adaptable to different soil types but thrives in moist, fertile soil.

2. Planting:

  • Plant Ajuga in the spring or fall.
  • Space plants about 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the variety.
  • Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and place the plant at the same depth as it was in its container.

3. Watering:

  • Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during dry periods. Water deeply and regularly.
  • Avoid waterlogged conditions, as Ajuga prefers well-draining soil.

4. Mulching:

  • Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain a more even soil temperature.

5. Fertilizing:

  • Ajuga typically doesn’t require heavy fertilization. However, you can apply a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer in spring if the soil is poor.

6. Pruning:

  • Prune Ajuga in the spring to remove any dead or damaged foliage and encourage new growth.
  • Trim the plants back after flowering to maintain a tidy appearance.

7. Propagation:

  • Ajuga can be propagated through division. Dig up established clumps, separate them into smaller sections, and replant.
  • Propagation can also be done by taking stem cuttings and planting them in a suitable rooting medium.

8. Pest and Disease Control:

  • Ajuga is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, it’s good practice to monitor for issues and address them promptly.
  • Slugs and snails can sometimes be attracted to Ajuga, so consider using organic slug and snail control methods if needed.

9. Winter Care:

  • Ajuga is generally hardy, but some varieties may benefit from a layer of mulch to protect against winter cold.

10. Varieties:

  • There are different Ajuga varieties with varying foliage colors (such as green, bronze, or variegated) and flower spikes. Choose a variety that suits your garden design preferences.

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2024

Remember to consider the specific needs and characteristics of the Ajuga variety you choose, as there may be slight variations in care requirements. Adjust care practices based on the local climate and soil conditions in your garden.

Ajuga, also known as the bugleweed, ground pine, carpet bugle, or just bugle, is a genus of 40 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the Ajugeae tribe of the mint family Lamiaceae, with most species native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but also two species in southeastern Australia. 

Ajuga reptans, commonly called bugleweed, is dense, rapidly spreading, mat-forming ground cover which features shiny, dark green leaves. Whorls of tiny

If you’re searching for something appealing to fill in a big area swiftly, you then can not fail with ajuga (Ajuga reptans), also called carpet bugleweed.

This creeping evergreen plant rapidly fills in vacant locations, smothering weeds while still incorporating exceptional foliage color and blossoms.

Additionally, it is excellent for erosion control. The blossoms of bugleweed are usually bluish to purple; however, they are sometimes located in white. And besides the conventional green foliage.

How do you take care of an ajuga plant?

Gently loosen the plants’ roots, place them in the ground, and firm the soil around them. Water thoroughly to settle them in and eliminate air pockets. Ajugas seldom need fertilizing. You’ll probably want to thin your ajugas every three years or so, to prevent them from becoming overcrowded.

Does ajuga need full sun?

Plant new ajuga plants 10 to 15 inches apart in early spring in rich, slightly acidic soil and in an area in full or partial shade. In mild climates, ajugas can be semi-evergreen

This floor cover may also offer the magnificent landscape copper or purple-colored leaves, making it great for incorporating yearlong interest.

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There is a variegated form accessible. But when put in strategic places, its rapid development and a mat-forming attribute might offer immediate coverage with just a couple of plants.

An excellent method to keep this gem within boundaries is by surrounding your garden beds with trimming. The other way I have found to be helpful is simply planting ajuga plants in a somewhat sunny place.

Ajuga is generally increased in shady locations but may flourish from sunlight, albeit more gradually, which makes it a lot less difficult to control.

Once recognized, ajuga plants need very little care. Unless it is very ironic, ajuga can usually sustain itself with regular rainfall, and there is no need to fertilize this particular plant.

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If it is found in sunlight, you might want to water more frequently. It’s self-seeding, so if you don’t need any sudden pop-ups, deadheading would undoubtedly help.

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How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2024

Eliminating a few of the runners occasionally may also keep this floor cover line. Runners are also simple to redirect. Only lift them and tip them in the perfect direction, and they’ll follow.

You might also cut on the runners and replant them everywhere. Every couple of years in spring, the branch might be necessary to avoid overcrowding and crown rot.

Ajuga reptans are commonly called bugle, blue armpit, bugle herb, bugleweed, carpetweed, carpet bugleweed, and mango bugle and are less widely known as the St. Lawrence plant.

It is a magnificent flowering plant in the mint family native to Europe. It isn’t very nice in parts of North America.

Plant ajuga at a shady or partially shady location with rich, slightly moist soil.

Space the plants 8 to 12 inches apart, and in a couple of years, they need to fill in fully, developing a colorful floor cover for slopes or borders.

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Ajuga also makes a great container plant, particularly in the spring and autumn once the weather is too cool for summer annuals. Since ajuga is low to the floor, excellent weed control is significant.

Mulch ajuga promptly after planting, using a thick layer of shredded bark to stop weeds from smothering young plants. Ajuga isn’t meant for animal or human consumption.

Growing from seed

In pots filled with the seed-starter mixture, begin the seeds of the bugle. Cover the bases with a thin layer of compost; They will germinate within a month.

When sprouts are viable, they can be seen in large containers. Once strengthened, new plants can be transplanted into the garden.

They are quickly grown in average, moderate moisture, part shade in well-drained soil under full sunlight. Prioritizes moist, moist soil with good drainage but tolerates moderately dry ones.

Will grow in full shade, but the best leaf color is usually in part-sun locations (at least 3-4 hours of sun per day). Provide good air circulation in hot and moist areas where crown rot is a problem.

Split the plants if they become overcrowded. This low-growing bugleade will spread into the garden by stolons (reptiles mean crawling) to create an attractive, mat-like ground cover.

Plants can be pruned back to the ground after flowering, if necessary, to rejuvenate the foliage.

Larger seedlings can be set up on a high mower to remove spent flower spikes and clean up the seedlings’ appearance.

Space plant for quick cover other than 6-9 Invariants; one can quickly remove any non-different leaves that appear.


  • Outside: Part sun
  • Outside: Shade
  • Colors: Green, Pink, Purple, Variegated
  • Water: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Special Features: Colorful foliage, Ground Cover

Apply your Ajuga with these varieties:

Lamium: Companion Lamium with ajuga to form a mass of low-growing color in a shadowy or partially shadowy border.

Ajuga: Mix different varieties of Anjuga to create a natural chessboard of green and bronze leaves.

Pachysandra: Team up with another shade-loving ground cover such as Pachysandra to paint the carpet under tall trees.

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants

Ajuga is one of the easiest plants to propagate. It spreads by underground runners, called stolons, forming clumps surrounding the parent plant.

When these clumps begin to get crowded, you can dig them up and transplant them wherever you want. It is best done in early spring or fall.

Dig up the entire mother plant and surrounding clumps, then separate them by hand or knife. Discard brown or withered chunks, and plant the others in new locations.

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As long as the plant grows in poor soil, feeding is rarely necessary. When it is required, apply an all-purpose granular fertilizer.

Or, use water-soluble fertilizer at the rate of 1 gallon per 1 gallon of water. It is best to feed in the morning and rinse any fertilizer grains from the leaves.


Crown rot can be a problem, especially in severe conditions and heavy soil in the deep south.

Avoid planting in wet, heavy soil, provide good air circulation and divide when congestion is high.

Also, avoid planting near perennial beds or lawns where its spreading nature can overcome problems.

Garden use

The primary use is as a ground cover. Will fill large, shady areas where lawns are difficult to establish. It can also be planted on banks or slopes, under trees, or in bushes.

It can be applied to spring bulbs like snow boxes (Galanthus). Small islands of Anjuga may begin to appear in the grass as they avoid planting adjacent to lawn areas. Great for small spaces, containers, and rock gardens.


It is a vigorous, ground-hugging perennial that will quickly carpet all shady or partially shady places in your garden with color.

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Growing just 6 inches tall, it is virtually maintenance-free and comes in many green, purple, or multi-colored foliage varieties.

As a bonus, Ajuga also sports beautiful stalks of blue, pink, or white flowers in spring. Hardy 3-9 in zones.

ajuga ground cover

Is Ajuga a good ground cover?

Ajuga is a commonplace groundcover, but this dark, coppery-burgundy one makes an excellent foil for taller or spiky-foliage dark plants such as black mondo grass. Don’t judge a plant by its size. Ajugas may be small, but these tiny groundcovers are durable and rugged. These evergreen plants form dense mats of glossy leaves.

Will Ajuga choke out other plants?

Bishop’s Weed/Goutweed

Its roots form a dense mat as it spreads, smothering out any nearby plants. That may sound nice for weed control, but it will eventually take over your garden plants.

How do you control an Ajuga ground cover?

Use a weeding fork to dig deep under the roots for complete ajuga weed control. Take your time and remove as many roots as possible because even small pieces that remain in the soil can take root and spread. Keep a careful watch on the area and pull new plants as soon as the apple.

Ajuga Cordial Canary

Can Ajuga grow in full shade?

Ajuga, a shade-tolerant groundcover. While this plant can tolerate sun, it also does very well in the shade, making it perfect for those areas in your landscape with too little sun for turf. It forms a dense, low-growing evergreen ground cover with dark green to purple foliage.

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ground cover ajuga

Ground cover ajuga ground cover stretches through hallways, and, as a member of the mint family, it can get out of control without proper care. However, its rapid growth and matting characteristics can provide instant coverage with just a few plants when placed in strategic locations.

An excellent way to keep this gem in bounds is to enclose your garden beds with borders. Another way, which I have found useful, is by planting ground cover ajuga plants in a somewhat sunny area. Ajuga is generally grown in shady locations, but it will thrive just as well in the sun, albeit more slowly, making it much easier to control. The ground cover ajuga also likes reasonably moist soil, but it is remarkably adaptable and will even tolerate a bit of drought. ground cover ajuga

ajuga reptans

Ajuga reptans are commonly known as bugle, blue bugle, bugle herb, bugleweed, carpetweed, carpet bugleweed, and the common bugle, traditionally but less commonly as St. Lawrence plant. It is an herbaceous flowering plant in the mint family, native to Europe. It is invasive in parts of North America.

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How does Ajuga reptans spread?

This low-growing bugleweed will spread in the garden by stolons (reptans means creeping) to form an attractive, mat-like ground cover. Plants may be cut back to the ground after flowering, if necessary, to rejuvenate the foliage.

Can you walk on Ajuga reptans?

Good things come in small packages! Ajuga, for example, grows just a few inches tall, yet it adds tons of color to your landscape. Also known as the bugleweed, this easy-care walkable groundcover plant is prized for its ability to slowly and steadily carpet your yard with its colorful foliage.

How do you care for Ajuga reptans?

The soil should be acidic, with a pH of 3.7 to 6.5. Bugleweed can be grown in any light, from full sun to full shade. The foliage will be smaller when grown in full sun, but the plant will produce more flower spikes. Ajuga prefers moist soil but will tolerate drought remarkably well.

bugleweed plant

Will bugleweed spread?

Also known as carpetweed or bugleweed, Ajuga reptans is a perennial that is typically hardy in zones 3 to 9. These evergreen plants form dense mats of glossy leaves. Because ajuga naturalizes easily, spreading by stolons, or horizontal stems that creep along the ground, you’ll want to think about where you plant it.

Is bugleweed poisonous to humans?

When taken by mouth: Bugleweed is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people, but thyroid disease should not be self-treated due to possible complications. Long-term use of bugleweed can cause an enlarged thyroid gland.

What is bugleweed suitable for?

People use the parts that grow above the ground for medicine. Bugleweed is used to lower high levels of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). It also treats premenstrual syndrome, breast pain; nervousness; trouble sleeping (insomnia); and bleeding, especially nosebleeds and heavy bleeding during menstruation.

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Is bugleweed bad?

There are no serious pest or disease problems; they may have crown rot problems, especially in hot and humid climates or areas with poor air circulation. Special notes: Bugleweed is an excellent low-growing, evergreen groundcover. It spreads by underground runners (or stolons) that form a dense mat of foliage.

  • Botanical Name: Ajuga reptans
  • Common Name: Bugleweed, common bugleweed, ajuga, carpet bugle, blue bugle, carpetweed, Google, carpenter’s herb
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Mature Size: 6 to 9 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Medium-moisture, well-drained
  • Soil pH: 3.7 to 6.5
  • Bloom Time: May to June
  • Flower Color: Blue, violet
  • Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10
  • Native Area: Europe, northern Africa, southwestern Asia

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants

Is the Ajuga plant invasive?

Because ajuga naturalizes easily, spreading by stolons, or horizontal stems that creep along the ground, you’ll want to think about where you plant it. This member of the mint family spreads fast and can become invasive. Gently loosen the plants’ roots, place them in the ground, and firm the soil around them.

How quickly does Ajuga spread?

Ajuga Species

It spreads quickly by runners, making a mat of dark green leaves that grow 2 to 3 inches wide in full sun and 3 to 4 inches wide in part shade. Selections with bronze- or metallic-tinted leaves keep color best in full sun.

Does Ajuga dieback in the winter?

Cycles of snowing and melting are standard. I planted many Ajuga Reptans (mostly Bronze Beauty) last year and more this year. Previous winter, most was not covered. Most plants experienced some dieback.

How do you control an Ajuga ground cover?

Homemade herbicide: Another option for getting rid of bugleweed is to create a homemade, environmentally friendly herbicide by mixing equal parts of boiling water and vinegar. Stir in a small amount of salt and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Apply the solution with a spray bottle or a garden sprayer.

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Does Ajuga need sun or shade?

Ajugas should be planted in early spring in areas with rich soil that receive either full shade or partial shade (they grow best in partially shady areas). Plants should be spaced 8–15 inches apart.

Where is the best place to plant Ajuga?

It will grow in partial shade so it’s also a good choice for adding interest underneath shrubs or trees. Plant Ajuga reptans in moist soil. Choose a spot grown in sun or partial shade, but avoid full sun as this may scorch the leaves.

What is the best fertilizer for Ajuga?

Unlike lawn grasses that need regular applications of high-nitrogen fertilizer, Ajuga would prefer an annual feeding in late spring or early winter with a natural or organic plant food. Alternatively, a slow-release low-nitrogen fertilizer can be used

Can Ajuga be grown in pots?

Ajuga also grows well in containers and can be useful for underplanting larger trees or shrubs as it will add interest to bare soil.

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