How to Grow Ajuga Plants

ajuga growing in the garden

Looking for some easy tips on how to grow ajuga plants?  You’re not alone. These versatile plants are a hands-down favorite in the perennial garden. They’re easy to grow, add color and texture to the garden, and will bring the butterflies! Read on for our best tips for growing ajuga plants in your garden.

What is Ajuga?

Reaching 6 to 9 inches tall and 6 to 18 inches wide, ajuga (pronounced ah-JEW-gah) looks like a mat of glossy oval leaves with spiky flowers that bloom from spring to early summer. The leaves can be a solid green or variegated, and the flowers are small and can be blue, pink, or white. Ajuga looks great in rock gardens, along paths, or in pots. Ajuga will survive the winter in zones 3 – 9.

How to Grow Ajuga: Planting Tips

One of the best things about ajuga is that it will grow in a wide range of soils, like sand, loam, or even clay. Just make sure the soil is acidic (learn more about soil pH here). Ajuga plants also grow in a wide range of light: from full sun to full shade. Although in full sun you get smaller leaves and bigger flowers. When you plant them, make sure the hole is wide and deep enough for the root ball. Space your ajuga plants 8 to 15 inches apart. At planting, feed with a 16-12-10 fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the package.

Caring for Your Ajuga

Water your ajuga plants weekly. You need to water well in the first growing season so that they put down strong roots. If solid-colored leaves show up on a variegated-leaf plant, remove them to stop the leaves from changing to an all green color. You can even share the ajuga love by dividing roots in fall or early spring or from young runners taken from the mother plant.

Ajuga grows FAST

Also known as bugleweed or carpet bugle, ajuga is actually a member of the mint family, so it grows and spreads very fast. Because of this, you’ll need to remove runners from bugleweed plants as needed to keep them from taking over the yard or garden. To control rapid growth, you can either mow or cut back to the ground. And about every 3 years, thin out large, crowded groups to avoid crown rot.

How to Grow Ajuga: Design Ideas

Ajuga pairs beautifully in a shade garden with plants like hosta and coral bells. But wherever you plant it, get ready for the hummingbirds and butterflies to thank you with a visit. And no need to worry about  hungry deer, in general, ajuga plants are also deer resistant.

Is this the year you try some ajuga of your own? Check out our ajuga collection and get growing!

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