Amazing Ajuga (reptans)

Some plants just really know how to grow! Take this Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed) that I planted in my corner shade garden area last fall for instance. I had one plant that I divided into two and planted on either side of a large stepping stone. Those two plants have now become all those that you see in the picture below.

Ajuga reptans

To me that’s just amazing! Ajuga makes a great groundcover for shady areas. You can help ajuga along by propagating more of it through division but that really isn’t necessary unless you want the purple and green variegated groundcover to spread in a new location. It’s a tough groundcover and doesn’t seem bothered by poor watering conditions.

Ajuga reptans

Ajuga is great for a little color in the shade or a living mulch underneath shrubs and trees. It fills in thick and doesn’t allow for many weeds to poke through. Keep in mind that it spreads fast and has the potential to become invasive, but it is still easy enough through to control with a shovel and hoe.  Ajuga grows well in zones 3-9, likes the shade or part shade but can handle more sun if in a cooler climate.

It would make an excellent companion plant to lime green foliage plants like hostas. The shorter hosta varieties would get crowded out but those with some height would do fine if planted together with ajuga.

About Dave

Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


  1. Ajuga is a great groundcover and there are new varieties that are not as invasive. The good thing about it is you can walk on it.


  2. Ahhh, ajuga: Under-appreciated and under-used. Glad to find a fellow appreciated of this fine groundcover.

  3. Dave I planted Burgundy Glow ajuga in a bare spot in the shade garden along the walkway last fall. This spring it took off and is spreading wonderfully. You are right when you say its foliage adds a little color to a shade garden not to mention some lovely spring blooms. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Ajuga is an eye-catching groundcover. I had some in a shade garden, but it did spread quickly and became invasive. I had to keep it under control.

  5. I really like ajuga. I had several varieties in my previous home, including one with the colors you have here. I also had a small leafed chocolate ajuga which became very thick. I was able to grow it fairly well in the sun, but it did better in shade.


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