Bugleweed: A Rapidly Growing Perennial Herbaceous Ground Cover


If you are looking for an attractive, rapidly growing ground cover, bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a great choice.

This perennial herbaceous plant is effective in plant elimination and can quickly overrun its cultivation area.

It has beautiful, shiny green leaves as well as beautiful flower spikes that produce blue or purple flowers. It can be planted in the late spring or early summer.

Common Name Bugleweed, common bugleweed, ajuga, carpet bugle, blue bugle, carpetweed, carpenter’s herb
Botanical Name Ajuga reptans
Family Lamiaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 6 to 9 in. tall and 6 to 12 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type Medium-moisture, well-drained
Soil pH Slightly acidic 6.5
Bloom Time May to June
Flower Color Blue, violet
Hardiness Zones 4 to 9 (USDA)
Native Area Europe, northern Africa, southwestern Asia

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • If you’re looking for a plant that will spread rapidly and eliminate other plants, look no further than bugleweed.
  • Often used as a ground cover, this perennial herbaceous plant can grow up to ten inches tall and produce beautiful blue or purple flowers.
  • To ensure that your plants stay healthy, it’s important to plant them in an area where they won’t be competing with other plants for nutrients.
  • Bugleweed is known for spreading quickly, so make sure to give it plenty of room to grow.
  • You should also water your plants regularly, especially during dry periods. Mulching around your plants can help retain moisture and keep the roots cool.

Lighting and Temperature

Bugleweed prefers partial to full sun, but it will tolerate partial shade. It is not particular about soil type, as long as the soil is well-drained.

Bugleweed is quite drought tolerant once established, but it will flower best if given regular watering during dry periods.


Soil that is too moist or compacted will cause the plant to suffocate and die, so it is important to amend the soil before planting.

Bugleweed does best in partial shade but can tolerate full sun if the soil is kept moist. If the leaves start to turn brown, it is an indication that the plant is not getting enough water.


Bugleweed is a heavy feeder and benefits from being fertilized every two to three weeks during the growing season.

A balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or 15-30-15 can be used. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how much fertilizer to use.


Pruning is the best way to keep bugleweed under control, as it will quickly overrun its cultivation area if left unchecked.

It is best to plant bugleweed in a location where it will not contaminate other plants, as it can be difficult to remove once established.


Bugleweed does not require a lot of water once it is established, but it will need to be watered regularly during its first growing season.


Bugleweed is a rapidly growing plant that can quickly overrun its cultivation area. It typically grows to be about ten inches tall, though some cultivars only grow to be about six inches tall.

The leaves are usually a beautiful, shiny green color, though some cultivars have variegated leaves with different patterns and colors.


Flowering plants are pretty and all, but sometimes what you really need in your garden is a plant that’s going to get the job done. That’s where bugleweed comes in.

This rapidly growing perennial herbaceous ground cover is perfect for those areas of your garden that you just can’t seem to get rid of other plants.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

  • Bugleweed (Lycopus americanus) is a plant that is native to North America.1 It is a perennial herb that can be found in wetland areas, such as marshes and swamps.
  • The plant gets its name from its trumpet-shaped flower.
  • Bugleweed is a popular choice for gardens because it is generally disease and pest-free. Aphids, which can be spraying off the plant with an irrigation hose, are one insect that enjoys bug seed.
  • Crown rot is another common problem for bugleweed. It is a plant-borne disease that can affect plants that are overcrowded and have insufficient air circulation. The disease is also known as Southern blight in the South, and it is caused by a fungus (Sclerotium rolfsii).
  • It is a problem in humid areas as well as when the plants are grown in heavy soils. Crown rot can be avoided by planting in well-drained soil. Plants that become infected with the fungus will quickly wilt and die.6

Propagating Bugleweed

Bugleweed is a fast-spreading perennial that is commonly used as a ground cover or border plant. Although it is easy to care for, bugleweed can quickly become overcrowded if left unchecked.

To prevent this, gardeners should divide the plants every few years. Bugleweed is best divided in the fall or spring, when there is no risk of frost damage.

The plants can be divided by hand or with a sharp knife, and each plant should be transplanted to a different location. By dividing bugleweed regularly, gardeners can help to keep the plants healthy and under control.

Types of Bugleweed

The leaves of A. Reptans ‘Atropurpureum’ are bronze-purple. Reptans ‘Chocolate chip’ has darker, chocolate brown leaves than the typical plant. The burgundy tri-colored variegated leaves of A.

Reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’ (white pink, white as well as green).

Reptans “Dixie Chip” is another plant with tri-color variegated foliage (creamy-white deep-rose, deep-rose, and green) that forms mats up to 2 inches tall.

Reptans ‘Black Scallop’ has the darkest foliage of the cultivars, with almost black leaves and scalloped edges, as well as deep blue flower spikes.

It produces mats that can reach a height of 6 inches. When the plants are placed in direct sunlight, the foliage turns the darkest.

Does bugleweed spread fast?

Bugleweed is a fast-spreading ground cover that is often used in gardens. It spreads through runners, or horizontal stems that grow just above the ground. These runners can create carpets of bugleweed that are dense and dark green.

The leaves of bugleweed are small, often growing no more than 3 inches in length. Bugleweed prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. In shady areas, the leaves of bugleweed may be smaller than in areas with full sun.

However, regardless of the amount of sunlight, bugleweed spreads quickly and can be difficult to control. For this reason, gardeners should be cautious when planting bugleweed and take steps to control its spread.

Can you grow bugleweed in pots?

Bugleweed is a beautiful groundcover plant that is perfect for filling in spaces in the garden.

It has pretty blue flowers and glossy green leaves, and it grows quickly, making it ideal for covering large areas. Best of all, bugleweed is very easy to care for and tolerant of a wide range of Growing conditions.

While bugleweed can be grown directly in the ground, it also does well in pots. In fact, growing bugleweed in pots is a great way to get started with this plant, as it is very easy to control the soil and moisture levels.

Just make sure to use a pot with good drainage and to water regularly. With a little care, you can enjoy beautiful bugleweed plants in your garden for many years to come.

Does bugleweed do well in shade?

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is a ground cover that features small, glossy leaves and tall spikes of blue flowers. It is a fast-growing plant that is easy to care for, making it a popular choice for gardeners.

One of the appealing aspects of bugleweed is that it can thrive in both sun and shade. In shady areas, the leaves of the plant will be more muted in color, but it will still produce the same striking blue flowers.

Bugleweed is also tolerant of clay soil and poor drainage, making it an ideal choice for problem areas in the garden.

However, gardeners should be aware that bugleweed can spread rapidly and may need to be trimmed back to prevent it from taking over the garden bed.

Overall, bugleweed is a versatile plant that makes an excellent addition to any garden.

Does bugleweed grow in full sun?

Yes, bugleweed does grow in full sun. Carpet bugleweed, in particular, is a well-loved ground cover that thrives in full sun.

It spread quickly by runners, creating an encrusted mat consisting of leaves that are dark and 3 inches in full sunlight and three to four inches in partial shade.

The varieties with bronze or metallic-tinted leaves retain color best in full sun. Bugleweed is a fast growing plant that produces blue, lavender, or white flowers in the spring.

It is a low maintenance plant that is deer resistant and drought tolerant. Bugleweed can be used as a ground cover, edging plant, or accent plant in rock gardens, Raised beds, Container gardens, Cottage gardens, Butterfly gardens, Shade gardens.

How do you make Ajuga grow faster?

Ajuga, also known as bugleweed, is a fast-growing ground cover that is ideal for shady areas of the garden. It is a hardy plant that is tolerant of both heat and cold and does not require much attention once it is established.

Ajuga typically flowers in the spring, but if the flower spikes are cut back after blooming, it will often rebloom in the fall.

To encourage Ajuga to grow quickly, it is best to plant it in rich, well-drained soil and to give it ample water during the growing season.

Additionally, regular fertilization will help to promote lush growth. Gardeners in South Carolina will be rewarded with a beautiful ground cover if they take care to provide the right conditions for Ajuga to thrive.

Does ajuga need sun or shade?

The plant Ajuga, also known as Bugleweed, is a species that is commonly used as a groundcover in gardens.

This plant is especially valued for its inventive capacity to spread quickly and take root in shady areas where other plants would have difficulty growing.

The question of whether Ajuga prefers sun or shade is a common one among gardeners. The answer may depend on the specific variety of Ajuga, but in general, this plant can tolerate both partial sun and partial shade.

One definitive advantage of Ajuga is that it grows relatively quickly, so gardeners looking to add some color to their landscaping can do so without having to wait too long.

Another plus is that Ajuga is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, making it a versatile choice for many different kinds of gardens.

Overall, Ajuga is an easy-to-care-for plant that can add interest and variety to any landscape.

Is ajuga good in shade?

Many gardeners love ajuga for its waxy, herbicide-resistant foliage that quickly grows in deep shade. Ajuga, also known as Carpet Bugleweed, is a small evergreen plant that can spread rapidly.

Its leaves are often a deep green, but some varieties feature colorful leaves with shades of burgundy or purple.

In the spring and summer, ajuga produces blue or white flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

Ajuga is an excellent groundcover plant, as it prevents weeds from growing and helps to hold moisture in the soil.

It is also deer-resistant and tolerant of poor soil conditions. For these reasons, ajuga is a great choice for shady garden areas.

How often should I water my bugleweed?

While bugleweed plants are establishing, provide them with up to 2 inches of water each week, which includes rainfall.

Once established, the plants will be tolerant of dryness, but one inch of water each week should suffice.

Make sure to water when the top one or two inches of soil become dry. Bugleweed likes soil that is moist, so this watering schedule should help to keep the plant healthy and prevent it from becoming stressed.

In general, it is better to water deeply but less often than to give the plant a light watering every day.

Deep watering encourages the roots to grow down into the soil, while frequent shallow watering’s can encourage the roots to stay close to the surface where they are more susceptible to drought stress.

By following these guidelines, you can help your bugleweed plant to thrive

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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