In This Article
View All
In This Article
Ajuga Burgundy Glow

BHG / Evgeniya Vlasova

With a wide variety of foliage colors usually in the rich deep burgundy realm, and sometimes cream and pink edges, ajuga makes a beautiful groundcover. The foliage is generally crinkled and very glossy as well. However, if you think this is just a foliage plant, you would get quite the surprise as spring eases into summer. Then, ajuga is covered in little spikes of bright blue, purple, pink or white blossoms.

Ajuga Overview

Genus Name Ajuga
Common Name Ajuga
Plant Type Perennial
Light Shade, Sun
Height 6 to 6 inches
Width 6 to 18 inches
Flower Color Blue, Pink, Purple, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green, Purple/Burgundy
Season Features Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom
Special Features Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control

Colorful Carpets

Ajuga's common names are carpetweed and bugleweed, so you'd be right in assuming that this plant is a vigorous grower. Each growing point on the plant is actually a little rosette of foliage. Ajuga spreads steadily by sending out plenty of wandering stolons, which are essentially horizontal roots growing outward from the plant. From each node on a stolon, the plant sends down roots and forms another crown of leaves—so that as they grow, they create more colonies. This also makes sharing super easy: Simply dig up a few of the rooted sections and pass them along.

The leaves of ajuga hold close together, which keeps them shorter. The nodes of the stolons are also very short, which creates dense colonies ideal for preventing weeds from growing up through the plants. Keep in mind that although ajuga is considered a ground cover, it doesn't do well with foot traffic. The plant can handle small amounts of trampling, but should not be used as a replacement for turf.

How to Care for Ajuga

Ajuga is a very low-maintenance plant. Because of its small stature, it doesn't need to be cut back each spring and the flowers don't need any deadheading. In mild climates, ajuga can be semi-evergreen. If you have a mild winter, the foliage from last fall may still look good in the spring.

Picking the right site for your ajuga can be variety specific, especially depending on the color of the foliage, but in general, it can handle anything from full sun to complete shade. The deep, shiny burgundy foliage varieties will be a tad more dull and may take on some green in full shade, but they'll still grow just fine. Overall color of the fancy foliage is at its best with at least a half day of sun.

Ajuga does best in well-drained, moist soil, but can handle drought and dry soil well. Some of the miniature varieties make great additions to trough gardens and containers. The biggest concern is that the plant doesn't get too wet, because crown rot is a common problem. To prevent this, simply make sure to site your plants accordingly.

More Varieties of Ajuga


Ajuga Bugleweed

BHG / Evgeniya Vlasova

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

Carpet Bugle

blue ajuga Genevensis
Dency Kane

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'
Justin Hancock

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
Rural American Graphics

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

'Chocolate Chip' Ajuga

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' around stones
Bob Stefko

Ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip' is a miniature hybrid with narrow burgundy leaves and purple blooms in spring. Zones 4-9

'Dixie Chip' Ajuga

Ajuga reptans 'Dixie Chip'
Marty Baldwin

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

'Silver Beauty' Ajuga

Ajuga reptans 'Silver Beauty'
Marty Baldwin

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

Ajuga Companion Plants



BHG / Evgeniya Vlasova

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 their different colored leaves. The low clumps of long-stemmed evergreen or semi-evergreen lobed foliage make coralbells fine ground cover plants. They enjoy humus-rich, moisture-retaining soil. Beware of planting them in areas with very cold winters.



BHG / Evgeniya Vlasova

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 shades of red, orange, and bright yellow in fall.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

BHG /Evgeniya Vlasova

You'll quickly realize the origin of bleeding heart's common name when you get a look at its heart-shaped pink or white blooms, each with a protruding tip at the base of the blossom. They grow best in partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. Some types bloom only in the spring, while others bloom spring, summer, and fall, provided temperatures aren't too high.

Garden Plans for Ajuga

Spring Rock Garden


This garden plan calls for low-lying, colorful plants with a mixture of blooming dates to last you throughout the year—bergenia, primrose, iris, snow-in-summer, Icelandic poppy, Delta, and Nonstop pansies—ranging in colors of blue, pink, yellow, white, and lavender. Plant your garden in full sun and watch your ajugas, phlox, and arabis bloom in the spring while the pansies and Icelandic poppies bloom all year in temperate zones.

Colorful Spring Shade Garden Plan

Spring Shade Border

You don't need a ton of plants for a colorful garden. This simple, beautiful garden plan features only six different kinds of plants. These hardy, long-lived perennials will make a dramatic statement every spring. Garden size: 7 by 34 feet.

Download this plan!

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles