Ajuga reptans, a genus of plants, include species also known as the bugleweed, carpetweed, bugle herb, carpet bugle, blue bugle, and common bugle. These species, which are also Lamiaceae mints, grow swiftly and may completely cover a vast area. Ajugas are deer-resistant plants that thrive in the shade and often have blue or purple blooms, although they may also have white blossoms. They also give the landscape vibrant purple, green, black, or bronze foliage. Ajuga plants are low into the ground and effectively manage erosion while reducing areas that would otherwise be available for weeds to thrive. Ajuga usually only grows around 4-8 inches tall, but being evergreen, herbaceous perennials, they may rapidly grow out of control without the proper care.
Ajuga Plant Types
Ajuga plants are low-maintenance, very adaptable, and have a variety of leaf hues that make them ideal for planting on slopes, banks, and beneath trees and shrubs. Seven well-liked cultivars (plants produced via selective breeding) are listed below:
- Black Scallop: The creeping perennial is well-known for its deep blue, fragrant blooms that bloom in late spring to early summer and its purple-black foliage with scalloped edges.
- Blueberry Muffin: The evergreen perennial’s thick, weatherproof leaves and blue blossoms will swiftly develop into a dense mat of rosettes. With regular watering, this plant can thrive in USDA hardiness ranges 5 through 9 and reach a height of around 6 inches.
- Bronze Beauty: Renowned for its rich blue blooms and bronze-tinged foliage, this species is excellent for planting in wall cracks or between stepping stones since it rapidly creates a thick mat of rosettes.
- Burgundy Glow: it is a slower-growing variety notable for its tricolor foliage, which includes rose-burgundy, cream, and dark green leaves, along with its blue flower spike. The younger leaves are brighter in color throughout the autumn, while the elder leaves take on a bronze tone. This well-liked variant has a height limit of roughly 10 inches.
Advice on Growing Ajuga
Early spring is the ideal time to plant ajugas in places with good soil and either full or partial shadow. Plants need to be 8 to 15 inches apart. Ajugas should not be buried too deeply or with the dirt covering the crown to keep the crown from decaying. To prevent weeds from suffocating these tender plants, mulch your ajuga plants immediately with a stack of shredded bark after planting. The area between the plants may close within a year or two.
Ajuga fills in gaps nicely, making it well suited for completing a pot with the other plants. Use a well-draining container to place the plant in a region with sufficient airflow. Other perennials like campanula, yarrow, geraniums, coreopsis, or ajuga may create vibrant pairs of flowers. Consider using companion plantings like creeping thyme, sedum, thrift, or chickens and pets since ajuga plants can withstand dry circumstances to a certain extent.
Six Guidelines for Caring for and Growing Ajuga
Ajuga plant doesn’t need much attention unless they get a lot of sunshine or are very dry. Here are six recommendations for taking care of your ajuga plant:
- Growth regulate: Ajuga ground cover grows by subterranean, stem-like growths from a mother plant known as runners or stolons. Ajuga plants are renowned for their rapid growth and mat-forming characteristics, so use only a few in thoughtful placements and keep up with the edging around the garden or other gardening to maintain these plants in check and within boundaries. To avoid congestion, ajugas should be thinned about every three years.
- Replanting: Ajuga runners may group together when they bury the plant in the ground. Lift the roots and split them if these clusters are too dense, which makes the plant weaker. The clumps may be removed and then divided into smaller portions or pulled apart before being replanted in a different location.
- Sunlight: By placing ajugas in more sunny locations, you may delay the development of your plants and more easily maintain control over it.
- Soil and water: Although ajuga plants are flexible and may even withstand drought, the soil should be wet. Some plants can survive on typical rainfall; however, watering may be required during extremely dry spells or if the plant is in direct sunlight. This plant doesn’t need fertilizer.
- Propagation: Although ajuga plants tend to self-seed, they are straightforward to grow from seed. Runners may be removed and planted somewhere else. If you’re growing them from seeds, plant the seeds in pots in the spring or autumn and keep the soil wet while you cover it with a thin layer of compost. These seeds ought to sprout within a month. You may transplant your young plants into your garden for the summer.
- Pruning: Deadheading, or removing fading or dead blooms from the plant, may improve an ajuga plant’s general look. Pulling the roots and directing them in the desired direction makes removing or repositioning them simply if you need to change the ground cover.