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Ajuga is one of the most indispensable groundcovers around. It has many uses and looks great much of the year.
Also known as carpetweed or bugleweed, ajuga forms a 6-inch-tall mat of glossy leaves that always seem to look neat and fresh. In many cases, the leaves are colored with shades of purple, white, silver, cream, or pink. Individual plants grow as a rosette, but they intertwine to form a solid carpet that withstands some foot traffic. Blue, lavender, pink, or white flower spikes adorn plants spring to early summer.
Ajuga is great in rock gardens, in the front of beds and borders, under leggy shrubs or small trees, along paths, and just about any other place in the landscape you want to cover the ground with attractive foliage and little flowers.
Part Sun, Shade, Sun
Under 6 inches
6-18 inches wide
more varieties for Ajuga
Ajuga reptans forms a low-growing mat 4 inches tall with flower spikes up to 9 inches tall. Many forms with variegated foliage are available. Zones 3-9
Ajuga genevensis is a relatively uncommon form that works well as a showy groundcover in partial shade. Most forms have blue blooms, but white and pink types are also available. Zones 3-8
'Black Scallop' ajuga
Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop' features shiny, dark purple leaves and springtime blue flowers. It's striking in containers. Zones 3-9
'Burgundy Glow' ajuga
Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' features foliage that ranges from green to purplish maroon. In spring, blue flowers rise above the colorful foliage. Zones 3-9
'Dixie Chip' ajuga
Ajuga reptans 'Dixie Chip' is a variegated selection that offers foliage streaked with white, cream, and pink. It's decorated with blue flowers in spring. Zones 3-9
'Golden Glow' ajuga
Ajuga reptans 'Golden Glow' lights up shady corners with creamy white tones on its spreading foliage. Zones 3-9
'Silver Beauty' ajuga
Ajuga reptans 'Silver Beauty' is a quick-growing selection with silvery-green leaves edged in white. It bears small spikes of blue flowers in spring and grows 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
plant Ajuga with
Exciting new selections with incredible foliage patterns have put coralbells on the map. Previously enjoyed mainly for their spires of dainty reddish flowers, coralbells are now grown as much for the unusual mottling and veining of different-color leaves. The low clumps of long-stemmed evergreen or semi-evergreen lobed foliage make coralbells fine groundcover plants. They enjoy humus-rich, moisture-retaining soil. Beware of heaving in areas with very cold winters.
A North American native, fothergilla deserves a place in every shade garden for its honey-sweet brushy blooms, fiery fall foliage, and open, airy habit. The tangled branch structure intrigues in winter landscapes. Easy to care for, fothergilla requires no pruning. The leathery leaves have lighter undersides and turn to shades of red, orange, and bright yellow in fall.
It's easy to see the origin of bleeding heart's common name when you get a look at its heart-shape pink or white blooms with a protruding tip at the base of the heart. They grow best in partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. Some types bloom only in spring and others bloom spring, summer, and fall, provided temperatures aren't too high.