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Ajuga Ground Cover Plant Value for the Home Gardener

Updated on August 3, 2017
Peggy W profile image

My grandpa loved gardening. I learned much from him. To this day I enjoy puttering around in our garden growing plants for beauty & food.

Ajuga plant in bloom.
Ajuga plant in bloom. | Source

Bugleweed

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.

Ajuga plants in bloom
Ajuga plants in bloom | Source

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 in bloom in our home garden.
Ajuga in bloom in our home garden. | Source

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 this ground cover plant in home gardens.

Ground Cover Plants

There are numerous choices when it comes to ground cover plants and we have had other types such as monkey grass, liriope, and Asian jasmine.

Most all ground covers are planted for various reasons. Some of the following are good examples why people like planting ground covers.

  • Wishing to keep a hillside from becoming eroded.
  • Filling in bare spots in a garden.
  • Wanting perennials that are easy care
  • Wanting to border a bed using the eye appeal of real plants in place of landscape timbers, bricks, rocks or other medium.

Ajuga blooming in our backyard garden.
Ajuga blooming in our backyard garden. | Source

Growing Conditions

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.

This plant 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.

You can see some of the runners of this ajuga plant in this photo.
You can see some of the runners of this ajuga plant in this photo. | Source

If one does not get the thinned 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 ground cover and be able to transplant or give this prolific plant 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!, another plant is soon established.

Some ajuga bordering our azalea plants
Some ajuga bordering our azalea plants | Source

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?

Closeup of ajuga in bloom using some photo editing just for fun.
Closeup of ajuga in bloom using some photo editing just for fun. | Source
Almost looks like a watercolor!
Almost looks like a watercolor! | Source
This one almost looks like a tapestry!
This one almost looks like a tapestry! | Source

Home Gardens

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?

Do you use ajuga / bugleweed in your home garden?

See results

Ajuga in bloom

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ajuga in bloom in our garden areas
Ajuga in bloom in our garden areas
Ajuga in bloom in our garden areas | Source
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© 2011 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile image
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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      While it may not bloom this time of year, I have actually transplanted ajuga almost any time of the year in this climate. Of course right now in this heat it might not be the optimum time without having to do a lot of watering. Hope you are staying cool up there in northern Texas. At least the days of over 100 degrees are gone for this week at least. Hooray!!!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Too late to plant this beautiful ground cover this year, but anyone reading this can put it on their calendar for early next spring. I should think all purple lovers would want a patch of this . . .

      Pinned this to my 'Purple 5' board -- yup, I have 5 purple boards now, and they're all very popular. Also sharing with followers.

      It's been so hot lately that I haven't been able to sleep hardly at all. So looking forward to cooler temperatures -- they're cooler the last couple of days, but I'm talking about considerably cooler, like down in the 60s during the daytime. Hope all is well with you and that you've continued to be sensible about your yard work.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Roberta,

      Since ajuga is shallow rooted, if it starts growing into other areas, it is easy enough to pull. I have shared much of it with others for that very reason. It is hardy and especially pretty when in bloom. Nice that you also enjoy it in your gardening.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Ajuga does well in our area and though friends call it invasive, I love the varieties that are available and the fact that it is a hardy evergreen that can be used in so many ways. We were just talking about using more of it in the future to make upkeep simpler.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      These ajuga plants are pretty when they bloom, but for most of the year they just provide a nice ground cover. Thanks for the pin.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      I love purple. Pinning this to my "Trees, Plants, & Flowers," board.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sherry,

      Ajuga can easily be thinned and kept in check. Also makes it nice for being able to share with others. The bees do like the blossoms! Thanks for your comment.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I have Ajuga in my front yard, it is beautiful, but I have to thin it out after it blooms, otherwise it crowds out any other plants that I have there. It can also be invasive in some climates. Here where I live there's not really enough natural water in the summer for it to thrive without some irrigation.

      It's also great for attracting bees to your yard, they just love it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello bridalletter,

      Moonlake who commented right before you did lives in Wisconsin and we live in Texas. The ajuga thrives in both places so it should do well in your zone area I would think. Nice to know that you enjoyed this hub. I have plenty more about all kinds of plants from flowers to shrubs to trees and even some terrific gardens that we have visited in various places. Enjoy! Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      Nice that by reading this you now know that the name of your plants are ajuga also called bugleweed. Thanks for your comment, vote and the share.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Lots of great info on such a pretty weed/flower. I didn't see the zones it grows in. I am in the midwest in Zone 5. Nice images and helpful videos. Really like your gardening hub, I hope you share more.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I have the Ajuga plant but never knew what it was called. I think it was here when we got here because I can't remember ever putting it in. They do spread and look nice in the garden. Voted up and shared.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sheila,

      Nice that you were able to take some of your ajuga plants with you when you moved. I did not take any plants but did move quite a few of our special rocks when we moved. Wish I could have taken all of them but I thought it best to leave some behind when the house was for sale just because of their beauty in the landscape. Ajuga doesn't take long to spread as you know. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Perhaps someday you will have a plot of ground to call your own. Ajuga certainly makes for a pretty ground cover and it spreads rapidly. You could always tend it in a pot and let the runners spill over. Thanks for your votes and the share.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I had such a nice spread of ajuga at my previous residence. I brought some of it with me when I moved and it is spreading nicely. It's a great ground cover and I love the purple blooms. Great hub! Voted up and interesting. :)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      You always have such gorgeous photos! I love purple. This plant, ajuga, would be perfect in my yard if I had one. This hub should be interesting to anyone looking for some pretty ground cover. Voted up, useful, beautiful, and will share!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      Thanks for taking a look at this hub regarding the ground cover plant, ajuga...also known as bugelweed. I have loads of it in our yard as it keeps spreading. Easy, for that reason, to share with others! Appreciate your comment and votes.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The purple flowers are so beautiful. I may have see something similar here in Southern California, but I don't think they're this exact species. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Brian Burton,

      Thanks for commenting on this hub about ajuga ground cover. I also like vinca. Will head on over to your hub now.

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 5 years ago

      Just wrote a hub on Vinca. Love hearty flowers that can also double as ground cover. Great hub and awesome photos!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Eiddwen,

      When the heat goes from the present sizzling back to cooler days ahead, I'll be transplanting more of my ajuga ground cover to different parts of our yard. When it is August in Houston it is best to stay inside of air-conditioned houses and postpone any major yard projects until a bit later in the year. Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you liked this.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Peggy,

      Another gem also.

      I am coming accross many gems to day,and I vote yours up and away.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      If you ever want some of this ajuga ground cover plant...let me know. So far two neighbors want some of it for their home gardens. Nice to be able to share! Thanks for your comment.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Peggy,

      Another great and beautiful hubpage. Thanks for the information on the beautiful Ajuga ground cover. You have shared very nice photos and videos of this easy and colorful plant.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals,

      Ajuga ground cover is definitely easy to care for and easy to keep within bounds by giving excess away. Just met a new neighbor who hasn't quite moved into their home on our block but is doing lots of landscaping prior to the move. She loves gardening and will be accepting some of my excess ajuga with pleasure. Something she will not have to purchase! It certainly makes for great gardening gifts after one has had it growing for a while.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello mdlawyer,

      Happy to hear that you found this ajuga ground cover as gardening gifts for the home gardner informative and useful. Thanks for your comment. :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      It cetainly is beautiful. I'll have to check it out. It sounds like it's an easy to care for plant.

    • mdlawyer profile image

      mdlawyer 6 years ago

      Great hub Peggy. Very useful and informative

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      If the ajuga ground cover would grow in your area the brownest of thumbs would have luck with it! Not sure it does however. I don't remember seeing any of it when we lived up there. I loved gardening in your area and had great results. Have never had the same luck growing tomatoes down here and because of wild critters chewing on and hauling off my eggplants last year I have pretty well given up except to grow herbs and onions. That is all that I have planted this year. We love using the fresh herbs in cooking.

      Nothing wrong with growing flowers! I like that also. Thanks for the comment.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I only gardened to the extent of what I could learn from books. I mostly grew tomatoes and had mixed luck with it.Since my motivation was to grow my own food I concluded that I could buy the food cheaper than what I spent trying to grow it. I realize some people find other rewards in gardening. A friend of mine only grows flowers and enjoys it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      If your nurseries sell ajuga ground cover, it probably does well. I don't know why it would not do well in Jacksonville since it thrives here in Houston. The blooms do not last that long so what one is really getting is the leafy ground cover effect for year round coverage. Thanks for the comment and good luck if you decide to try it.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello DiamondRN,

      Nice to hear that you also enjoy the ajuga ground cover in Charlotte, NC. It truly is a hearty plant! Thanks for the comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I wonder how well it would grow in Jacksonville, FL. It is so attractive and I like your hub.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      We use quite a bit of Ajuga in Charlotte, NC. It's tough and drought tolerant for us in Zone 7B.