Ajuga Reptans Bugle Flower Care
Ajuga Reptans All You Want To Know and Its Varieties
Ajuga Reptans is also known as bugleweed or carpetweed and is not that invasive that you cannot control it. It is a fabulous plant capable of smothering and controlling weeds and to grow at garden edges. These plants are native to Europe. This is a hardy perennial with beautifully rounded overlapping green or outstanding variegated shaped leaves. The flower collection comprises of purple, pink or white coloured flowers. Flowers are produced on a stalk during spring and early summer, they usually grow from 10 to 15 cm in height. The dense blooming occurs in early spring. The leaves grow to a short height of 5-8 cm forming a dense matt overtime. These are tough low maintenance close knit foliage plants for your garden. There are different varieties of this plant available from online nurseries.
This plant can grow in partly shaded gardens or sunny locations. However, it is better to avoid strong sun exposure as the plant may get burned. They are frost hardy and can withstand moderate frost conditions. Ajuga plants are one of the easiest perennial plants to grow, they prefer beautiful crumbly top soil. In problem areas, the garden beds can be built above a clayey or a sandy soil base, a permaculture no dig garden should master the problem quickly, but they really will accept and grow in any type of soil, except straight heavy clay.
This can cause root rot and should be avoided. It is always best that the soil is well drained and rich in humus. The plant should be placed at least 18 inches apart to allow them to spread and to form the perfect densely matted ground cover. If the groundcover becomes denser, the air circulation is affected and this may cause crown rot. Though these plants can survive foot traffic to some extent, regular walking on the plants will damage the beds. I have these beauties growing at the very front of my daylily beds and they grow and look very impressive in my hot climate.
Watering and Feeding Requirements
These plants require plenty of water even if they are planted in shady areas. If not watered properly the production of flowers will be way less. The plant requires regular watering and some care when planted. Once established, the frequency can be reduced. The plant needs to be fed with blood and bone during the spring to encourage flowering.
Ajuga can be propagated by division. The division of the plant can be done at any time during its growing season. The plant produces runners and dividing them and replanting them again produces new plants. It is better to remove the runners periodically to keep the plant from over spreading. Propagation using stem cuttings will take more time.
Varieties of Ajuga Reptans
The important varieties of Ajuga Reptans are:
- Ajuga Burgundy Glow– This plant has variegated red or burgundy coloured foliage colour. The flowers are deep blue or purple. This is a great variety for borders and rock garden. Best foliage colour develops when exposed to 3-4 hours of sunlight.
- Ajuga Black Mary- This variety has glossy black coloured leaves and dark blue flowers. They can grow in full shade but better foliage colour requires at least 3-4 hours of sunlight.
- Ajuga Reptans Burgundy Lace – This plant variety has burgundy cream and pink marbled or variegated leaves and produces pale blue flowers. The plant can survive extreme sun as well as shade conditions. Flowers are produced mainly during spring.
- Ajuga Reptans Catlin’s Giant– This is the largest variety of Ajuga and has dark red leaves. Blue flowers are produced on spikes in spring. They can withstand a short drought period. They make an excellent choice for containers or mixed tubs.
I have pink flowering variety with green leaves I can not remember its name, all the same, it has a very pretty pink flower, you may pick this one up in your local nursery in your area that offers low growing mat forming plants.