Ajuga Ground Cover Plant in Gardening Gifts for the Home Gardener
Ajuga plant in bloom
Ajuga is also known as bugleweed and makes an excellent ground cover. If you have ajuga growing in your yard or garden you probably already know that it makes excellent gardening gifts for other home gardeners you happen to know.
Why is this?
Besides the fact that it is hardy as well as pretty, it spreads rapidly therefore making it a prime candidate to thin out and give away as gifts.
Fellow gardeners are often very happy to share plants and it certainly is an economical way to save some money while beautifying one's home landscape.
When we moved into our current home there was a little bit of ajuga mixed in to the other planting beds in our back yard. In the five years that we have lived here, I have spread the ajuga to border garden beds in many places around our home.
Since we have a corner lot which is landscaped on all sides...that is a lot of garden beds!
Friends have also happily taken excess ajuga to plant in their home gardens. It is a nice feeling to be able to share living plants with people who also appreciate beautifying their outdoor spaces.
Ajuga groundcover plants
Ajuga Ground Cover
Just look at the gorgeous flower stalk that appears in the Spring of the year!
These stalks which are approximately 6 to 8 inches tall show flower coloration that varies from shades of blue to purple.
It is the end of March as this is being written here in Houston, Texas and some of the flower stalks have already ended their blooming cycle while others are still emerging.
When the stalks little flowers have dried up, I simply cut the stalks off with a sharp serrated knife down to leaf level.
Most people purchasing ajuga do it for the ground cover effect. This show of color in the Spring is simply an added bonus to having ajuga or bugleweed in home gardens.
Ajuga in bloomClick thumbnail to view full-size
There are numerous choices when it comes to ground-covers and we have had other types such as monkey grass, liriope, and Asian jasmine.
Most all ground covers are planted for reasons varying from wanting to keep a hillside from becoming eroded; filling in bare spots in a garden; wanting perennials that are easy care or simply wanting to border a bed using the eye appeal of real plants in place of landscape timbers, bricks, rocks or other medium.
Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
Ajuga groundcover plants
Some photo editing fun with the ajuga plant.
Ajuga does best in shaded areas or partial sun. No special soil is required.
The leaves grow in a rosette formation and send out runners with small little plants spaced closely together on that runner. If those fine roots of the runners touch the soil, soon more ajuga plants will be growing. Ajuga can purposely be left to grow in a draping fashion spilling over the brim of a pot, stone wall or elsewhere where a trailing type of feature is desirable.
If one does not get the thinned ajuga plants from a fellow home gardener, and one has to purchase ajuga in a nursery, space your plants widely...a foot or foot and a half apart, because soon you will have a solid mat of ajuga and be able to transplant or give ajuga as gardening gifts to people you know.
If it is used as a border, you will want to keep it in check which is easily done as the runners sit on top of the soil and the new plants...even big established ones...have fairly shallow roots.
Throw a little soil over the runners with the fine roots...and voila!...an ajuga plant or bugleweed is soon established.
My husband and I have some ajuga planted around the base of a birdbath. When we freshen the water on a daily basis, we can actually step on the ajuga with no ill effects to the plants with the exception of the short time that they are in bloom. How many other plants can be treated like that and still look good?
Tricolor Bugleweed Perennial Groundcover
If you decide to plant ajuga ground cover in your outdoor landscape start thinking of other home gardeners that you know because within a few years you will have readily available gardening gifts for them right out of your very own home garden space. What could be easier or more pleasing than being able to give a gift of living and breathing plants that are hardy, perennial, serviceable and also pretty?
© 2011 Peggy Woods
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