Ajuga – Ajuga reptans
An unsurpassed ground cover, Ajuga reptans, or bugleweed, spreads out into thick mats of purple, bronze, deep green, red cream white nad pink leaves that are topped by whorled blue, violet, pink or white flowers in the late spring and early summer. The plant is not only beautiful, but suppresses weeds and can substitute for a grass lawn. Bugleweed varieties can thrive in full sun to full shade.
Ajuga reptans grows to about one half to three quarters of a foot high, with a spread of about a half a foot to a foot. It’s a perennial, which means it comes back year after year. Once established, it does not need pampering but needs a medium amount of watering. It can tolerate deer and rabbits and can be planted around black walnut, a tree that sends out an acid around it that often poisons competing plants.
Bugleweed prefers well-drained soil that’s evenly moist, full of humus and compost and drains well, though it can tolerate soil that’s on the dry side. The gardener should avoid soil that’s heavy and soggy. Though it does well in deep shade, planting bugleweed in a place that gets sunlight for at least a few hours a day will bring out the delightful colors of the foliage. The plant has a great range when it comes to the climate and does well in hardiness zones 3 to 10, which ranges from Maine all the way down to Florida. If it’s grown in a climate as hot and humid as Florida’s, the gardener should make sure that the air circulation is good.
After flowering, the plant can be cut all the way back or even mowed on a high setting. When the mats become overcrowded, they can be divided in the spring or the fall. Besides being a ground cover, ajuga reptant is excellent for rock gardens and containers and can be planted on slopes and beneath trees and shrubs.
Ajuga can grow 6 inches in height and 6 to 15 inches in width. The color of this plants is like the color of blueberries, a dark bluish color, but they can range from the colors of purple, green, and white. First, you will dig holes that are 8 to 15 inches apart. Then you will loosen the roots, put them in the ground, and firm the soil. Water this plant enough for them to settle. The Ajuga plants rarely need fertilizing. Ajuga plant is low maintenance. The plant does not need much pruning, but occasionally you would have to cut them down so that they don’t become overcrowded. If the Ajuga plant dies just remove the dead undergrowth and let the roots stay in. Please keep in mind that this plant is delicate. It can handle on a little footwork and not a lot of trampling on the plant. Recommended flowers to plant alongside the Ajuga plant is a Bleeding Heart or Coralbells.