Content Detail

The low, dense spreading habit of bugleweed makes it an excellent  ground cover for part-shade or shady areas. The round green leaves often have a purple tinge and low, short spikes of violet-blue flowers that add spring interest. 

  • Family (English) Mint
  • Family (botanic) Lamiaceae (formerly Labiatae)
  • Tree or plant type Ground cover, Perennial
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Low-growing plant (under 6 inches), Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Blue
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of spreading:

Bugleweed is a low-growing ground cover, usually staying under 6 inches. It is a trailing-rooting ground cover which has  trailing stems that spread out from a central root system.  These stems spread out horizontally over the ground and can root where they come in contact with the soil. New shoots will be formed at the point where rooting occurs.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Bugleweed is native to Europe.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Elliptical to rounded shiny green leaves have square stems. Dark green leaves turn a reddish-bronze color in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Lavender-blue flower spikes appear in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit is not ornamentally important.

Tree & Plant Care:

Best grown in well-drained humus-rich soils. Avoid extremely wet sites.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Bugleweed can develop crown rot in wet, crowded conditions.

Black Scallop bugleweed  (Ajuga reptans ‘Binblasca’):

Leaves are dark purple, nearly black, with scalloped edges and violet-blue flowers.

Bronze Beauty bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Bronze Beauty’):  

Metallic bronze leaves show off violet-blue flowers.

Burgundy Glow bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’): 

Tricolor (burgundy, green and white) foliage shines with violet-blue flowers.

Catlin’s Giant bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’)

This cultivar has 8 inch long green leaves with purple highlights and violet-blue flowers.

Chocolate Chip™ bugleweed  (Ajuga reptans  ‘Valfredda’):

Tiny, 1 to 3 inch teardrop leaves turn a deep chocolate bronze color. This is a dwarf creeping form.

Dixie Chip bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Dixie Chip’):

Tricolor (pink, green and white), narrow foliage and violet-blue flowers set this cultivar apart. Grows 2 to 4 inches high.

Golden Glow bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Golden Glow’):  

Leaves are a mix of yellow and green, with rosy tones in cooler weather and violet-blue flowers.

Pink Lightning bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Pink Lightning’):

Green leaves are edged in white with pink flowers.

Silver Beauty bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Silver Beauty’):  

Green leaves are edged in white and violet-blue flowers appear in early spring.

White bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Alba’):  

This cultivar has white flowers.


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