One of the most widely used ground-covers Ajuga has a number of species and a few named cultivars.
With variety both in the foliage color and the flower color as well as the size this is a long flowering plant that is useful in many garden situations.
Ajuga is originally from Asia and Europe and prefers full sun to part shade, in a well drained humus rich soil.
The well known Ajuga reptans is used widely as a ground cover plant available for sale online.
Ajuga is also known as ‘bugleweed’ and is valued for the fairly dense mat formed that can help prevent weeds from growing. The height will vary from 5 inches to around 10 inches so a little choice here as well.
One of the real joys of this plant is its ability to cope with a range of soil types including dry areas. This makes it suitable for planting beneath trees where many other plants are reluctant to grow.
Easy to grow in USDA Zones 3 – 9 Ajuga will be evergreen in warmer zones to semi evergreen in colder areas. Although it will grow well in full sun to part shade, it does not flower as well in very deep shade.
If you are mass planting you can buy trays of plug plants,these can be planted at 12 – 18 inches apart. The closer you plant them the quicker it will form a cover.
- Plant in spring
- Water in with a liquid seaweed fertilizer
- Do not over water
- Plant in a confined space, or remove the runners from the edge of the clump.
- In hotter zones provide protection from the afternoon sun.
Generally not required, although some gardeners do like to just it back every few years. You can use a mower or line trimmer to do this.
Popular cultivars used as groundcover plants include:
- Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ which is one of the taller growing cultivars.
- Ajuga ‘Jungle Beauty’
- Ajuga ‘Black scallop’
- Ajuga reptans ‘Burgandy Glow’ with speckled foliage and bronze to burgundy tones in the colder months.
- Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ a smaller growing cultivar with green and ‘chocolate’ colored foliage. ‘
- Cultivars such as ‘Bronze Beauty’, ‘Silver Queen’ and ‘Metallica Crispa’ are others worth considering
Older clumps can also be divided in spring. Easy to propagate from cuttings taken from spring to early summer.
Simply dig with a fork, divide the clump and replant, watering in with a liquid seaweed fertilizer.
Ajuga are available for sale from the following nurseries
Offering a wide selection of bulbs, perennials, grasses, herbs trees and shrubs. Includes: Agastache
DIGGING DOG NURSERY phone (707) 937-1130
PO Box 471 Albion CA 95410 A spectacular selection of hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and vines for your garden. Includes: Agastache auranthiaca, Agastache foeniculum, Agastache mexicana and others