Saturday, May 4, 2013

Feature Plant: Ajuga Reptans - Early Spring Color

Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow'
Blooming in early May, Ajuga reptans is a hardy perennial ground cover that is an excellent candidate for the shadier areas of the garden.  Ajuga is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grows 3 to 4 inches in height.  Vibrant purple blooms form a carpet of color in hard to grow areas such as under trees and between shrubs or in shade area rock gardens.  Ajuga spreads rapidly in humus soil and can be divided and replanted after bloom. 
Ajuga reptans in Shade Garden
Ajuga grows best in partial to full shade in a well-drained soil.  Depending on the variety, foliage ranges from glossy medium green to variegated cream, purple and green oval shaped leaves that stay semi-evergreen throughout the winter months.  Blue-violet flowers appear in spring on 4-6 inch spikes that add a vibrant sea of color to the garden.

Ajuga serves as a focal point when planted around a boulder or along with other shade loving perennials.  The garden here is in part shade and sun with the purple ajuga in the shade along with hosta and Nepeta next to it in the sunnier area.  I have been growing this perennial in my zone 7 garden for the past several years and have found it to be successful.  Ajuga adds a beautiful splash of color in early spring along with attractive foliage throughout the rest of the season and as an added is also considered to be "deer resistant"!

As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved


  1. Hi Lee...last year a friend gave me my first Ajuga. I planted mine in full sun (I didn't know any better) and it's blooming like crazy. Maybe I just got lucky!! It sure is a pretty plant.

  2. Funny you should mention that Christy. I have some in a sunnier spot (3-4 hours full sun daily) and it does just fine. It is a versatile plant.

  3. Ha, you are still ahead of me with Ajuga. But we have been having high seventy and even eighty degree weather and FINALLY are catching up. Once the phlox bloomed all bets were off on Spring. I am a much happier camper now.You know we will be back in the thirties at night though on Friday. Lucky I did not plant annual flowers, but did plant lettuce and bok choy.

  4. It sure has been an unusual spring with fluctuating temperatures. We have been in the 60's here with a chill still in the air but it sure is nice to see everything blooming...finally! Good luck with your lettuce and bok choy. At least they are cool weather plants.

  5. I planted my first Ajuga this year, but the "spring" in Toronto has been very cold and we even had snow two days ago. Will it still bloom once the weather figures itself out?

  6. Hi Janice,

    I think so. As long as it is showing some signs of foliage it should be OK. The weather has certainly been different this year. We've had temperatures in the 60's and 70's and last night it dipped back into the 30's!


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