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Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Medium Blue
Bloom Time: Mid Spring Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Bronze-Green
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
On Apr 6, 2012, MeganMM from Ontario, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
This is an odd little grower for me. We bought our house a year ago and found tiny clumps of this growing in the lawn. We decided to leave most it and just mowed (push reel mower) over it from April until November. I transplanted a few specimens into a new bed I put in directly after moving in. The transplants get part shade and have not died, but also have not grown much. They have never flowered. I dug up the remainder of the ajuga in the lawn this past February and put them into a casserole dish full of water. I meant to plant the specimens immediately, but ran out of time. The dish has now been sitting under the covered patio (zero hours of sun per day) and the ajuga is blooming for the first time ever. I keep an eye on the water and make sure to keep the roots covered, but it seems very happy. I'm stumped as to where I should plant them now that I've seen out-of-character results. I would love them to continue blooming, but I guess I will have to do a trial and error period. They're just such a happy and tranquil plant; I would love them actually in my gardens rather than in a casserole dish of water on our patio table.
On May 3, 2011, Andrea_F from Ottawa, ON (Zone 4a) wrote:
Based on the glowing reports of this plant, I was expecting to love it, and I probably would have -- if I had given it a whole lot more space! Within a single growing season, it has multiplied from four small plugs to a vast mat of thick, homogenously green foliage that no longer displays the lovely brown variegation of the originals. The flowers at initial bloom are pretty and abundant, but they quickly degenerate into spindly, ratty-looking stalks, and then the foliage goes crazy and starts sticking up all over the place as well. I think this plant would be fabulous in a larger area where uncontrolled growth was desirable, but for my purposes it has been a disappointment.
On Oct 2, 2010, Crit from Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I bought one little plant one spring because I thought it was pretty. it was planted in a well drained garden soil in a mostly shady bed. There was spotty sun though the branches/leaves on the trees. When I moved, I dug up a few of the starts. I now have it planted in a bed with the same type of light, but a very heavy clay soil. It even thrives in that! I just love this little guy!
On Jan 27, 2009, StolenMoments from Petersburg, IN wrote:
Love, love, love this plant as an under planting with hydrengeas. It is a good contrast with the dark leaves and the spring blue flowers are charming. I do clean mine up a bit after flowering, but it is a very neat-weed stopping-easy to divide-lovely plant. Great pass-along plant too, will handle abuse and still keep thriving.
On Dec 27, 2007, Fairy1004 from (bestest fairy)Temperance, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I purchased this to cover a specific area that gets way too much water from the gutters and was all sandy & rocky-it has grown like a champ and has the prettiest chocolate & dark green variegated coloring that looks nice with the purplish flowers in the spring-can't wait for it to spread more!! Will post pics in the spring
On Jun 24, 2006, GeorgiaJo from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Bought one small plant from a nursery late last summer but never got in planted and it got real rootbound. So i divided it into six small pots and kept it in my minimally heated greenhouse all winter. Planted it in the spring and it just took off! Beautiful, easy groundcover.
On Mar 28, 2005, PerryPost from Minneapolis, MN wrote:
In Minneapolis Zone 4
Valfredda tends to have some central rot issues from our wet spring weather but it quickly refills into a nice tight clump. See my photo of this plant... several years in this garden and on wet springs the center dies back but the edges quickly fill back in and continue spreading outward, though slowly and more compact by comparison to other ajugas. Flowers in the cooler spring and fall weather here.
EXTREMELY easy to propagate. The tiniest little offset or single division will quickly grow into a 3 to 6 inch clump within a growing season when planted in moist loamy soil.
Have had much success in full sun or shade.
One of my favorites.
On Aug 20, 2004, autumnleigh from Portland, OR wrote:
Portland, Oregon. I have only had this little charmer for a year but I love it. I have it in full sun in deep loamy well draining soil and I water it well every third day. It is low to the ground and is beautiful even when not in bloom. I have moved some around and they are shallow rooted and very easy to manipulate if you want to control their cover. Becomes very dark and dense and is a beautiful contrast for yellow verigated plants. A winner in my book!
I've had great success with this groundcover here in the brutal Houston, Texas environment. It has survived my 'fit and forget', 'trial and failure' style of gardening. It has thrived in a south facing bed with varied shade. Very happy in shade and partial shade but struggles a bit where receiving a lot of the brutal texan sun. However, seldom gets extra water from me and has effectively tolerated some significant dry spells. Have managed to cover a large area, starting with just 6 plants by splitting at regular intervals within just two years.
On Sep 13, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:
If you didn't like your mother's or grandmother's Ajuga, you will love this one. Tiny leaves, great "chocolate" colored leaves. Grows quickly and gives a fine textured groundcover for underplanting just about anything.
Needs SUN to maintain its chocolate coloring! Drought tolerant once established.
This cultivar was discovered at the Valfredda Nursery in Italy and was marketed as 'Chocolate Chip' for a couple of years.
Has rosettes of oblong deep green leaves that first emerge as a brown-purple colour. Bears spikes of light blue, two lipped flowers.
Flowers April - June
Loves a well drained but slightly moist soil in light or partial shade, the leaves will burn in full sun.
This cultivar has smaller leaves and rosettes than other cultivars and suits an alpine garden without becoming a big problem. It also requires drier soil than the other cultivars as the rosettesw rot easily when it's damp.
On Apr 2, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Spreading, miniature chocolate foliage with shining, lacy blue flowers. A true natural dwarf. Shade to sun.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Birmingham, Alabama Florence, Alabama Phoenix, Arizona Clayton, California Fairfield, California Hoopa, California Ontario, California Walnut Creek, California Broomfield, Colorado Sheridan, Colorado Oldsmar, Florida Timber Pines, Florida West Palm Beach, Florida Dallas, Georgia Chicago, Illinois (2 reports) Machesney Park, Illinois Northfield, Illinois Peoria, Illinois Saint Charles, Illinois Washington, Illinois Indianapolis, Indiana Petersburg, Indiana Ewing, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Baton Rouge, Louisiana De Ridder, Louisiana North Laurel, Maryland Foxborough, Massachusetts Big Bay, Michigan Port Huron, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Eveleth, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota , Missouri St Joseph, Missouri Lincoln, Nebraska Jersey City, New Jersey Dunkirk, New York Elizabeth City, North Carolina Winston-salem, North Carolina Bexley, Ohio Bucyrus, Ohio Greenville, Ohio Blackburn, Oklahoma Lotsee, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Portland, Oregon Milford, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , Saskatchewan Conway, South Carolina Lincolnville, South Carolina Murfreesboro, Tennessee Austin, Texas Baytown, Texas Belton, Texas Briaroaks, Texas Corpus Christi, Texas Grape Creek, Texas Hereford, Texas Houston, Texas Sunset Valley, Texas West Valley City, Utah Leesburg, Virginia Cameron, Wisconsin