How to Grow Ajuga reptans Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Bugle

Ajuga reptans, also called Bugleweed, Bugleherb, Carpet bugle, and Common bugle. It is a creeping herbaceous perennial from the Lamiaceae family.

It is related to mint, and is native to Europe.

ajuga reptans photograph by nociveglia.

It is hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 10, and will typically bloom in late spring and early summer.

Typically plants are 4-9 inches (10 to 23 cm) tall. Ajuga reptans is mat forming and plants spread quickly to form a dense living carpet that features glossy dark green foliage.

This tough, low-maintenance plant, produces spikes of blue-violet flowers that rise above the matted foliage, but most gardeners prize Bugle for its lovely leaves.

It can be used as a ground cover on banks or slopes and is wonderful for filling in areas of shade where grass doesn't do well.

Other uses include borders and beds or under shrubs. It can also be grown in containers.

Ajuga reptans Mahogany Leaves cover plant
Varieties, such as Ajuga reptans Mahogany can make great ground cover plants, photograph by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

This plant is deer and rabbit resistant and attracts pollinators to the garden. It will smother weeds making it a great choice for natural landscapes and gardens.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Bugleweed

Grow Bugleweed in full sun to partial shade in an area with good air circulation.

It likes a well-drained loamy soil with a medium level of moisture, but will tolerate soil that is moderately dry.

As it is a woodland plant it prefers soils that are acidic; ideally the soil pH should be 3.7 to 6.5.

Carpet bugle
Carpet bugle picture by Forest and Kim Starr; CC.

Ajuga reptans, will spread quickly via runners, and may be cut back or mowed after flowering.

If bugleweed plants begin to be too crowded, dig up whole plants and any surrounding clumps in spring or fall and divide them.

Space the divided plants about a foot (30 cm) apart in their new location.

Ajuga reptans Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Ajuga reptans
  • Common Name: Bugleweed, Carpet Bugle, Common Bugle.
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 9
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Herbaceous, Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 3 to 6
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 24 to 36
  • Time of Bloom: Mid spring to Mid summer
  • Flower Details: Blue
  • Leaf Foliage: Green, Purple, Variegated
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Prostrate, Spreading or horizontal

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: shade, partial shade, partial sun
  • Rate of Growth: Grows slowly
  • Suitable Soil Types: Adaptable, Clay, Loamy, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Low
  • Propagation: Division, separating rooted stems
  • How to Prune: Not usually required
  • Pests: Usually pest free
  • Diseases: Subject to powdery mildews

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Rabbit, Deer, Black Walnut
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Container, In the control of erosion, Ground cover, En masse , Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden
  • Family: Lamiaceae.
  • Closely Related Species: Basil, Deadnettle, Lavender, Mint, Perilla, Sage, Thyme.

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, Non-native to North America, Naturalizing, Invasive
  • Genus Detail: Ajuga
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Bugleweed plant
Bugleweed photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Agave attenuata. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Perilla and Lavandula angustifolia.