Ajuga is a good ground cover, forming a dense carpet of foliage over the soil. This semi-evergreen plant grows rapidly by producing mats of foliage in rosettes. As runners develop from the mother plants, take root, and produce new plants, it can become invasive (low).
The foliage grows about 4 inches high with clusters of blue flowers reaching 6 to 8 inches. It has deep green foliage and partly evergreen, turning brown after severe freezing weather. Bronze and variegated varieties are available. The extensive root system prevents erosion.
Use and Management
The plant flowers in early May to mid-June. Ajuga blooms in very early spring and sporadically thereafter. There are several different colors ranging from green, to bronze, multi-colors and almost purplish blacks. Ajuga will flourish in almost any soil with good drainage. It will winter kill (rot) in heavy clay soils. Ajuga is susceptible to botrytis or grey mold. This will cause some leaves to shrivel up or flowers to abort. A fungicide spray with lime sulphur should remedy this.
Ajuga prefers light shade and tends to be smaller, shorter and less healthy in the full hot sun. Ajuga spreads over the ground so you can contain it with a shovel cut every spring and mid-summer. As a ground cover, it spreads slowly but steadily. Adequate water must be provided to flower when the plant is in the shade. This is particularly true when it is in competition with aggressive tree roots.
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