Ajuga reptans (commonly known as Bugleweed, Blue Bugle, Bugleherb, Carpetweed and Common Bugle) is an herbaceous flowering plant native to Europe. It is invasive in parts of North America. There are some 40 species of Ajuga, all native to temperate Eurasia. Only a few are normally cultivated. Unlike many perennials that are grown only for their flowers, Ajuga is prized for its attractive, colorful foliage that looks nice all year. Grown as a garden plant it provides useful ground-cover.
Bugleweed ‘Catlin’s Giant’
This is one of the largest-growing varieties, It forms a dense, rapidly spreading ground-cover which features low rosettes of large, bronze-green foliage and whorls of blue flowers on spikes up to 8″ tall. Does very well in shady areas where grass will not grow and can spread aggressively. Dense foliage will choke out weeds.
- Showy blue flowers
- Not particularly tolerant of foot traffic.
- Flowers appear in April – May.
Bugleweed ‘Burgundy Glow’
Fantastic tricolored foliage in shades of creamy-white, rose-burgundy, and dark green make this ajuga different than all the others. In the fall, the mature leaves turn a deep bronze while the newer growth takes on a rose tone. These low, creeping plants make a wonderful ground cover. Great for preventing erosion. From mid to late spring, short spikes of blue flowers stand upright above the low, spreading foliage. The effect is stunning when planted en masse.
- Striking range of foliage colors and textures that feature tricolored foliage (white, pink and green)
- Blue flowers on 6″ spikes in late spring
Bugleweed ‘Silver Queen’
Silver Queen’s attractive variegated leaves are silvery gray-green edged in cream and deeply indented. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. Spikes of bright violet-blue flowers appear in late spring and early summer. This is by far one of the best variegated bugleweeds on the market.
- An excellent, spreading, evergreen groundcover that quickly forms a dense, lustrous mat.
- Blue flowers on 8″ spikes in late spring
In the Garden
This is a quickly spreading, evergreen ground-cover that can grow in the shade of large trees where grass is hard to establish. May also be grown on banks or slopes or around shrubs. Spikes of blue flowers are attractive in spring. Excellent for edging. It also fits nicely into rock gardens and mixed container plantings. Combines beautifully with spring flowering bulbs, particularly yellow tulips or daffodils.
- Moderate growing 3 to 6 in. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide. Flower spikes 8 to 10 in. tall.
- Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Black Walnut
- Attract butterflies
Caring & Growing
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.
Best foliage color is obtained in sun but plants also grows well in shade. Around warmer, southern regions, grow bugleweed in partial shade to full shade. While Bugleweed can tolerate morning or late afternoon sun, the leaves will scorch if they are exposed directly under the full midday sun.
Wide soil tolerance. While refers moist, humusy soils, it grows rapidly even in poor, heavy soils.
Bugleweed needs moist conditions. It does best in fairly well drained soils with frequent watering. Keep surface of soil moist, but not soggy. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
In the South, it’s best if bugleweed is grown in a well-ventilated area and avoid planting in wet, heavy soils.
Fertilize Ajuga with a slow-release, mild natural or organic plant food in spring.
As a ground-cover, space plants 2 ft. to 3 ft. apart, (closer for faster coverage). Control weeds with mulch until the plants cover the area. Divide every 2-3 years to thin out planting and improve air circulation. May suffer from crown rot in hot humid climates if air circulation is limited.