|'Burgundy Glow' |
|The leaves are purple-tinged throughout the year, but get even darker in winter |
Excellent evergreen groundcover, blooms early-mid spring. The popular 'Burgundy Glow' cultivar can spread rapidly - not a problem in the garden areas where we keep it, but it's been reported to colonize into lawns in other gardens. Recently, we acquired a specimen named 'Chocolate Chip'. Even though we have more of our 'Burgundy Glow' than we know what to do with, we were charmed by the small slender leaves of the new cultivar.
|'Chocolate Chip' |
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog
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PlantLinks to other web pages about Ajuga reptans
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Mark Stevens||Oct 11, 2005||This plant has gotten into my lawn. What can I do?
I think your best bet is a general broad-leaf weedkiller - such as the ones included in weed and feed formulations. Or if the infestation is small, pull it regularly until the grass crowds it out.
|jim rayfield||Jun 02, 2008||i HAVEN'T LOOKED VERY hard but us amatuer gardeners who even have books on plants - veggies and flowers - would like to know if there is something out there even in printed form that could be bought (a book) to show the layperson how to start seeds in what kind of medium to get a seedling, how big it should be before transplanting - OR, how to separate existing plants and transplant them to where they will grow, about how long it takes them to become viable (plant name by plsnt name e,g. asparagus, rhubarb, etc.), how they produce seeds to replenish themselves, etc.
Part of this info would be tied to the latitudes and time of year.
For example I searched for the "life cycle of the purple leaf ajuga" which took me to your website.
If someone hasn't done it, and did a book on it so we laypersons could follow a format to understand the processes, it would be a money maker.
The idea is to cover each thing that grows from beginning to demise, and how to harvest each type of plant.
my email is email@example.com|
|Pamela||May 20, 2009||If we are in zone 6 what is the best ground cover for a pretty good size hill? I want something the I don't have to take care of and it would be close to a wooded area behind our back yard. Also, I need something that spreads fast. We have to weedeat our whole hill! Thankyou|
That all depends on your growing conditions: sun/shade, moisture levels, soil fertility.
|Robert||Aug 05, 2009||Do deer like to eat this?. We live in deer infested area.|
Ajuga is generally considered to be deer-resistant.
|Cory||Aug 13, 2009||Can This plant die out when transplanted and come back? Cause I bought a small pot at walmart a couple of weeks ago and I planted it in part sun part shade and it looks sickly I've been watering it every other day and it looks like its dieing. Thanks for the help Cory|
Ajuga is a tough plant. To help it through the transplant stress, I would provide more shade for the time being; I'd be surprised if it didn't return to health.
|ken winters||Sep 22, 2009||I have a sloping hillside adjacent to the front lawn, about a 4-8 foot gentle slope. Soil is mostly sandy, area is partially shaded about 125' long. Zone 6, southeastern Mass. Any further recommendations on a ground cover, I heard on a plant radio talk show about ajuga. Ideally I'd like to plant something with good soil retention, any color would be an assett, no mowing.|
Ajuga sounds like an option, as long as the soil doesn't get too dry.
|flo sorice||Mar 31, 2010||Is there a safe product to use on my ajuga which will kill the weeds, without harming the ajuga? Occasionally, the voles/moles damage the root system, allowing rapid weed growth before the plant can reestablish in the spring. These are low growing matted type weeds which are impossible to pull up by their roots. |
I'm not aware of any such product - most herbicides are indiscriminate, or at best distinguish between broadleaf and grassy plants.
|Craig||May 10, 2010||I've planted ajuga among some groups of ferns. Will the ajuga choke out the ferns? If so, is there anything that will survive among the ajugs?|
I don't think the ajuga will outcompete the ferns - the ferns are strong enough to break through, and will easily rise above the ajugas.
|DAVE||Jun 04, 2010||I have red flies covering the whole of my ajuga, is this common and how do I get rid of them?|
I've certainly never seen that. Are they harming the plants?
|DAVE||Jun 07, 2010||I dont know if they are harming the plants but there are thousands of them and the ajuga's are near to the barbecue area so I think that I need to dig them up, anyone else have any advice?|
|Debbie||Jun 11, 2010||I have ajuga that looks like some kind of disease or insect is killing it. The leaaves are dried up and appear to have eggs of some sort on it. I pulled it out to keep from spreading. There is very healthy ajuga right next to it. Any idea what might be causing the damage?|
|Glenn||Aug 13, 2010||Debbie, I have the same problem. I had a 65 ft.border (about 12-15 inches wide) over the last two wks. I'm down to about 10 ft. of living plants. HELP PLEASE!!!|
|Coreen||Aug 16, 2010||Debbie and Glenn, I have the same problem....I had a 15 ft. border (12-15 inches wide) which died by degrees - - large clusters of dead areas with tiny white spots on the stems of the dead leaf stalks...Whatever is the disease, it also affected a few hostas in my yard and my next door neighbor's entire lawn. My husband and I are sick about it -- the ajuga was stunning, and we are afraid to replant at this point, without know what we are dealing with...|
Sorry to hear about all the ajuga woes. Do comment again if you find out what's ailing your plants - good luck.
|Shelly||Sep 15, 2010||I would like to plant something in front of my stone wall next to the road that doesn't need to be mowed and hopefully will choke out some of the stuff up there that does need to be mowed/weedwhacked. Will ajuga work in this manner, is it able to out-compete other aggressive plants? We have clay soil and it is part-shade up there.|
Yes, I think ajuga might be just the ticket. It doesn't like to get terribly dry though, so you may have to water a bit through long dry spells.
|Fleur||Oct 09, 2010||Is the ajuga reptans a long flowering plant ?|
I would not call it long-flowering - going by memory (which is always suspect), I would say it's in bloom for 2-3 weeks. That's why I consider its foliage to be a greater asset than its flowers, however nice they are.
|Sharon||Nov 15, 2010||This site is wonderful - great data/photo's. Thank You. These plants Ajuga repens are great as a medicinal herb for hyper-thyroid condition, along with 3 other herbs that grow abundant. The entire plant/flowers/leaves is used. |
|LESLIE||Feb 21, 2011||Re:Flies on your ajuga plant.I have never heard of that either, however,there are lots of harmless sprays you could try.Well,relatively harmless.Did you use a manure mix straight from a farm? Great stuff but atracts flies.|
|MG||Apr 26, 2011||Thanks for your site! I bought 3 of these plants a few years ago, desperate to have something grow in a shady area that gets NO sun at my parents' house. I forgot to save the name tag and for years been looking for these again! Finally found the name here! One has done fantastic, one has done just ok, and one hangs on every year- we can't believe it keeps coming back but it had 2 short stems of flowers this year LoL We love 'em!|
|Joan||May 01, 2011||This is a lovely plant but takes over & spreads quickly.It has gotten into the grass & was taking over my lawn. The only way I got rid of it was to dig it up & after I did that, which took me 2 full days to do it, I put lime on it. I used the pellets cause the powder makes a mess. I will replant grass next year but am so glad to get it out of the lawn. I don't have alot of time to be pulling & weeding out the excess growth spread, so you have to keep after it so as it won't spread. For me it's to much work as I don't have time.I also have the Zosia grass & it was even taking over that grass, choking it out. But save yourself alot of hard work & try the general broad leaf weed killer spray first if you're tring to get rid of it. I had an area of about 10x 20' to dig up & it was not an easy job. It's a beautiful ground cover but you do have to keep after it deligently to keep it under control.|
|Casey||Jun 03, 2011||I have drifts of this in my 2 acre lawn that I have found quite charming this spring. Is this considered invasive? Oddly enough, it has no interest in moving itself into my shady spots.
Some gardeners certainly have trouble keeping it out of their lawn, but I've not found it to be nearly as aggressive or hard to manage as thugs that spread by running roots. I don't think ajuga is truly a shade lover – they tend to do better with part sun.
|Robert McBride||Jul 05, 2011||ajuga has been taken over with the wild strawberry vine. Is there a remedy in dealing with this weed? Have pulled out much of the vine. What palnt fertilizer works best to strengthen the ajuga to give it a fighting chance. Any recommended herbicide that could be used not to kill the ajuga? |
I don't think herbicide is an option. I would think that vigilance in weeding out the trailing weed would suffice to give the ajuga the advantage it needs. Providing reliably medium-moist conditions with reasonable fertility (a slow-release fertilizer might be best) would also serve to boost the ajuga.
|Cheryl||Aug 26, 2011||If I plant this around a tree stump that is at ground level, will it cover over the stump?|
I don't think so. Ajuga's top growth doesn't spread much beyond where it can root. You'd be better off with a groundcover that has a more vining nature. You could look into using Kenilworth ivy, which will spread further beyond its roots.
|janet kreis||Apr 16, 2012||Last Fall I discovered ajuga and planted ten plants in my shady garden. They were doing fine and then I discovered that squirrels were eating them. My neighbor a few blocks away has had no problems with squirrels eating up her ajuga. Any thoughts?
I really like the plant but hesitate to buy more if the squirrels are going to destroy them.
I've not heard of this problem before. We have squirrels, but if they eat the ajuga, they do so without causing major damage. Healthy ajuga should spread readily, so ordinarily you would not need to purchase more to expand the area of coverage.
|tom||Apr 20, 2012||Will ajuga choke out my hosta...already read they will not compete with the ferns.|
The hostas will push through the ajuga without a problem (except perhaps the most miniature hosta varieties).
|diana||May 01, 2012||When is the best time to plant your ajuga first of spring. Or can you plant in the late spring or early summer?|
Best to plant in early to mid spring. You can plant later, but you'll have to stay on top of watering in hot and dry weather to help them establish.
|Phil||May 22, 2012||I purchased a bunch of small Ajuga Chocolate Chip from the nursery, and I've had a lot of it die/dying on me. It's on a sloped, east-facing hill, so it does get quite a bit of sunlight. It has been very dry here in Ohio lately, but I have been giving it good water at night when the sun is setting. Some of the plants have had all the leaves shrivel, turn brown, and just completely die off. I went up to one of the plants and felt the brown leaves and they were just so dry and crumbled in my hands. What is going on?|
'Chocolate Chip' doesn't appear to be as robust as the larger-leaved cultivars – I recall I had some dieback on mine as well during a drought a couple years ago. I would keep watering regularly until your surviving plants are well established. If they're still not happy, maybe the sunny exposure is just not the best position for them.
|Nancy Curl||Jul 08, 2012||I have burgundy glow adjuga in two different spots. When I water the adjuga it looks dead th enext day and then itdies in complete round areas.It was well established and I assume that it is some sort of mildew that is killing it. Any ideas about what to do to stem the die off would be greatly appreciated.|
|Sylvia||Oct 17, 2013||The leaves of my ajuga plants have holes in them. What are the possible causes and cures for this?|
Something's eating on them :-). Hard to say what it is, though.
|Trish ||May 12, 2014||Three weeks ago I planted 36 healthy-looking Adjuga Reptans Black Scallop plants in an area that will have filtered sunlight when the leaves appear on the trees. I amended a mixture of sandy soil and topsoil with a purchased compost with manure and humus. 'Just noticed this morning that the edges of many of the leaves have turned brown,like maybe I'v managed to burn the plants. What should i do? Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. |
I can't be sure. If the plants are currently receiving strong sunlight because the shade-providing trees aren't doing their thing yet, then the ajuga may indeed be getting more sun than they like. It will also depend on the cultivar – I'm not familiar with 'Black Scallop', but most ajugas can take a good deal of sun as long as it's not mid-afternoon scorch.
|Teresa||Jul 27, 2014||In West TN also having our 8 month old chocolate ajuga dying. Looks like fungus. Bought about 15. Gets partial sun. Does not seem to be hardy or aggressive thus far. Sprayed for insects and fungus one week ago, will see. At this rate may not have anything left. Nursery planted it last October and it was a very cold winter. However this plant did not show stress until about 4 weeks ago. |
|Col||Aug 05, 2014||Can too much water cause my chocolate chip ajuga's leaves to curl up.... and does it need good drainage
I planted a 20/10 ft area a few years ago and the plants start out well in the spring and then the leaves start to curl up as the season goes on-- I do have sprinkler system in the area and the plants get @ 30 minutes of water a week..many of the plants have not come back from year to year....|
I'm surprised by all the reports of ajuga failure on this page – mine keep on going no matter what nature throws at them. The 'Chocolate Chip' variety is definitely less vigorous than 'Burgundy Glow', but in my experience they stay healthy. And they certainly get a mix of very wet and somewhat dry conditions in our garden.
|Jim||Aug 09, 2014||Are there any Pre Emergent Herbicides that can be applied over a bed that contains a large amount of ajuga? I apply Snapshot to other areas of my bed, but it will kill ajuga.|
|Carol||Aug 22, 2014||Is there a difference between giant ajuga and other types of ajgua?|
I'm not familiar with giant ajuga. It sounds like you're referring to a variety of Ajuga reptans called 'Catlin's Giant'. I haven't grown that one, but it doesn't appear to be very different from the Burgundy Glow form, and would have most of the same characteristics and cultural requirements.
|Sean||Jan 13, 2015||Is there a simple way to be able to cross-breed this with another specimen right at home?
|Tom||Mar 22, 2015||The last two years about half of our Chocolate Chip Ajuga died off and shriveled to nothing in the winter. What are the possible causes of this situation?|
|Carrie||Apr 22, 2015||I am so sick of digging up ajuga. It just keeps coming back. I dug up a 12 foot circle two years ago to only find it back and larger. Does lyming it really work?????|
|Larry||Apr 27, 2015||I have a 10' X 10' ground cover area that I have planted with black Ajuga, I loved it. They thrived well for 2 years and then they started dying. After looking at the cause, (stems & roots wilting & dying) I read that fungus will cause this. I took a lot of the soil off and treated the remainder with a fungicide as per instructions. I then re-planted the bare areas and they seamed to be doing better but then all died off within a few months. I'm afraid to re-plant these after what I've been through.
Is there another similar shade ground cover that does not have green foliage and flowers during the summer and tolerant to fungus and small animals? |
|Christy||May 12, 2015||I have been searching like a madwoman, intent on finding a name to these plants that are scattered all over my lawn. And finally I found this site! I dug up (very easy to do....roots are not deep at all) about a hundred of these last summer and planted them as a border along my garden. They came back this year, and to my delight they look amazing. They are filling in as a ground cover in spots. I love them! And free free free! They are in light purple and dark. So pretty. Thank you!!!|
|Paul shay||May 16, 2015||I know you can dig up ajuga to transplant them but can you just cut them and put in water.
Will they root in water and then you can plant them|
I don't know how well they would root - but given how easily they spread, I don't think you'd have to go that route, which in any case is going to have a lower success rate than dividing/transplanting.
|Steve||Apr 24, 2016||I have ajuga reptan growing near where my tulips are planted. Will the tulips be able to force through the ajuga cover similar to how hosta's and ferns will in previous posts|
I don't think your tulips will have any trouble pushing through the ajuga. But typically, tulips are planted in sunny spots and ajuga in at least part shade. As long as they're both happy with the conditions provided, they should co-exist just fine.
|Tere||May 17, 2016||I absolutely love ajuga have it planted many locations around garden areas my issue is clover and weed grass how do I remove it? The ajuga is growing but the clover is growing more suggestions to get rid of clover and weed grass? Help|
|Dee Luescher||Oct 21, 2017||I just planted ajuga (Oct 21) to fill in holes on hill where ajuga has not spread or has dried out all around the edges. I wanted my hill to be full by spring do you think it will live and hopefully thrive? One other question will tulips and daffodils come up through the ajuga?|
The last question is easy – your bulbs will poke through just fine. As for how well your newly planted ajuga will do – that's hard to say. Depends on your climate, how large the plants are, and what prevented the existing plants from thriving. With good care and conditions, they should be well underway by the middle of next spring.
|Don||Sep 17, 2018||I bought a four inch pot of ajuga about ten years ago. It did great,and spread to cover most of a 6x8' flower bed, until this year, when it all just disappeared. It didn't wilt and die. It's just gone. The only thing I can think of is that squirrels ate it. Strange that they waited so long to chow down, though.|
|Trish||Sep 01, 2020||Something (animal)is pulling out my ajuga during the night. We find it in the morning.....pulled out and thrown upside down. It is in a gated patio area, no large animals (deer) can get in. Could it be raccoon, opossum? |
|Deb Scouten||Aug 11, 2022||I have had ajuga for several years. They look overgrown and the leaves are curling. When pulling up the plants, they look healthy except for the curling leaves. Should I pull up all the plants and then replant sparingly? |
I don't know what might be ailing them – it could be a viral or fungal disease. If they seem otherwise healthy, it may be worth waiting to see how they return after the winter.
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