How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants

Ajuga Plants

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants

Ajuga, also known as 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 a dense, rapidly spreading, mat-forming ground cover which features shiny, dark green leaves. Whorls of tiny …

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

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

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

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

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 plants.

A really good method to keep this gem in boundaries is by surrounding your garden beds with trimming. The other way, which I have found to be helpful, is by simply planting ajuga plants at a somewhat sunny place.

Ajuga is generally increased in shady locations but may flourish as well 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 normally sustain itself with regular rainfall and there is no need to fertilize this particular plant.

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

How To Grow And Care For Ajuga Plants 2020

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

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

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

It is a magnificent flowering plant in the mint family native to Europe. It is aggressive 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.

Ajuga also makes a fantastic 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 particularly important.

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 seeds 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.

Easily 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 to clean up the appearance of seedlings.

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 together 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, that form clumps surrounding the parent plant.

At the point where these clumps begin to get crowded, you can dig them up and transplant them wherever you want. This is best done in early spring or fall.

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

As long as the plant is growing in poor soil, feeding is rarely necessary. When it is necessary, 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 be sure to rinse any fertilizer grains from the leaves.


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

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 under bushes.

Can be applied to spring bulbs such as snow boxes (Galanthus). Small islands of Anjuga may begin to appear in the grass as 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.

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

As a bonus, all Ajuga also sport 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 a great foil to 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 little groundcovers are durable and tough. These evergreen plants form dense mats of glossy leaves.

Will Ajuga choke out other plants?

Bishop’s Weed/Goutweed

As it spreads, its roots from a dense mat, smothering out any nearby plants. That may sound nice for weed control, but it will eventually take over your garden plants, too.

How do you control an Ajuga ground cover?

Use a weeding fork to dig deep under the roots for more thorough 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 they apple

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.

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.

A good 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 fairly moist soil, but it is remarkably adaptable and will even tolerate a bit of drought. ground cover ajuga

ajuga reptans

Ajuga reptans is commonly known as bugle, blue bugle, bugleherb, bugleweed, carpetweed, carpet bugleweed, and common bugle, and 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.

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 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 in the range of 3.7 to 6.5. Bugleweed can be grown in any type of light from full sun to full shade. The foliage will tend to 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 good for?

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

Is bugleweed bad?

No serious pest or disease problems; 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, Gugle, 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 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 common. I planted quite a lot of Ajuga Reptans (mostly Bronze Beauty) last year and more this year. Last 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 very hot 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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