Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bugle, Bugleweed, Carpet Bugle
Ajuga reptans

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ajuga (a-JOO-guh) (Info)
Species: reptans (REP-tanz) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

47 members have or want this plant for trade.

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under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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13 positives
4 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive saskboy On Apr 19, 2012, saskboy from Regina, SK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Ajuga is a hit-and-miss success for me.After a couple of seasons it tends to die out in spots, and some years almost completely dissapears. I have better luck with it when i rejuvenate it by periodically pulling up the offshoots and transplanting them. But where and when it does well, its a real treasure. It blooms in sweeping drifts simultaneously with my yellow Oxslip primroses and white daffodils, and the combination is beautiful beyond description-a show that lasts 2 to 3 weeks in late may/early june.

Positive bazil323 On Aug 24, 2011, bazil323 from Cameron, WI (Zone 3b) wrote:

As with any plant, you have to plant it in a carefully picked location to fill your needs and the needs of the plant. I planted this in a fairly shady bed without really anything else in it, and it filled in really nicely within 3 years--approximately a 7 foot by 3 foot bed from 3 plants in quart-size pots. I was impressed! It looks nice and quickly fills in bare spots. Since there really wasn't anything else planted there, I don't know if it would grow around other plants or choke them out. It does survive Wisconsin's often very cold (mostly below 0F winter with 2 weeks of -20F to -30F last winter) long winters and then often erratic summers of 80-90F that go from lots of rain one week to little rain the next and back and forth across the board.

Neutral mcrousse On Sep 3, 2009, mcrousse from Holly Springs, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant was in the roots of a hosta I planted 6 years ago when we moved to this house. Since then, it has spread slowly but steadily out of the shade bed. I mow over it every week and it doesn't mind. It grows in full shade and full sun where it was accidentally transplanted. It grows in wet soil and dry ones but wilts quickly in drought. It grows in compacted clay easily. It is pretty when it blooms and even though it has spread into the edge of the lawn, it has not caused any problems. Maybe the mowing has kept it from spreading more!

Negative Malus2006 On Apr 7, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

For me, it and other ajugas cultivars had been more of a wimp. I have tried it in several locations and either after the first year, it dies during the winter or it spreads itself, becoming thinner and thinner as it spreads out and then dies after three to four years. I give it low rating as a ground cover, because of its low height and prefer to clumping and give itself a wide space of bare soil, encouraging weeds to move in.

Positive SW_gardener On Mar 10, 2006, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

Good easy plant for part shade. Quick growing and can survive a good massacre when you rip a big part of it out cause its grown too much. Easy to transplant and divide, purple flowers in spring and grows in sun, shade and inbetween.

Negative SisterClay On Mar 9, 2006, SisterClay from Hurst, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Years ago when I first planted ajuga, I loved it. It filled in quickly and was beautiful and thick. It is a very fragile plant and cannot withstand being stepped on.

The main negative aspects are that it needs tons of water and protection from the evening sun. I planted it where it was in shade until about 4:00 in the afternoon. The evening Texas sun is too much for this plant in the summer. If I wanted it to survive the summer, I literally had to soak it every other day for at least 30 minutes. And it still got scorched. I did this for the first year after I planted it.

I have since planted xeriscape plants and stopped watering. All of my beautiful ajuga has completely disappeared.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 16, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have plain Ajuga planted on one of my less frequently traveled paths, and love it. It survives hot, dry weather, and perks up right after a rain. I have had it in some beds, and while it takes a bit of persistence to get out, it can be done. It is nice contrast and keeps grows thick enough to keep weeds out.

Positive ladyannne On May 1, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is an invaluable ground cover as long as it is contained. It's colour is brilliant, the bees and our Mama hummer love it. We did have one season when it performed poorly, I believe due to less water just before spring bloom. It transplants extremely well, so when I am trimming up the edge runners, it gets donated to friends and transfers very easily.

Positive rplingaltx On Jan 15, 2005, rplingaltx from Galveston, TX wrote:

This is a wonderful plant in my opinion. Here in south Texas it does suffer a bit during the summer months if you can't keep it watered. Most of the people I know who have great success with ajuga here in our climate plant it on the edge of a pond or marshy area. It will spread rapidly but is so nice trailing in the water. I have seen it planted on waterfalls as well here and it nicely fills in cracks and crevices you might want to disguise.

Positive daleyla On Oct 19, 2004, daleyla from Monterey, CA wrote:

My mother and sister have had great luck with this plant in Michigan. I am trying to grow it in Monterey, CA. I have had it in the ground since late July and so far the plants are doing well. They are growing larger but I don't have any runners yet.

Positive Paulwhwest On Apr 30, 2004, Paulwhwest from Irving (Dallas area), TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great fast growing groundcover. It's foliage is beautiful as are the flowers. I have it growing under some elephant ears that come up after they bloom.

Positive lupinelover On May 24, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

For my worst areas, ajuga has proven indespensible. It grows under water, in soil that is completely spent, in places over-run with maple roots, in dense shade, and in full sun. Even crowns planted upside down survived!

Neutral pengle On Apr 19, 2003, pengle wrote:

I planted this in an area with partial shade and it has been a bit disappointing in that it has not spread as quickly as I had expected. Can it be a problem with the soil, or do I have the a variety that doesn't propagate?

Positive NatureChild On Apr 7, 2003, NatureChild wrote:

Bugleweed,a semi-evergreen, is used in folk medicine to treat external wounds because it helps stop bleeding. It is believed by some that it is somewhat narcotic and sedative, however it may cause cardiac arrest as foxglove can if it is used incorrectly. Harvest in the summer using fresh plants to make an ointment or an oil to treat wounds.
Cultivation-seems to grow well in partial sun but thrives- so far- in full sun. Average to below average watering.

Positive cmlnmbs On Jan 6, 2003, cmlnmbs from Ashland, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

In Zone 3 of Northern Wiscsonin:

Positive: Strong grower & spreads fast. Bees absolutely love it, counted up to 10 in an area of flowering Ajuga, 6 feet square. Beautiful foliage color: leaves become more purple in direct sunlight, while staying green in pure shade.

Negative: Almost too strong of a grower. To remove it completely from an area that it was once growing is becoming a nightmare, pulling and spraying, and it still comes up again occasionally.

For me however, the positives out-weigh the negatives. We use it as a groundcover in the backs of our flower beds, between our perennials. It serves as mulch (erosion control, shading soil, moisture retaining), attracts bees, and provides foliar color when it is not flowering.

Positive woodspirit1 On Dec 24, 2002, woodspirit1 from Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love ajuga but I haven't had it overrun anywhere. It tolerates dry shade, an unusual situation, as well as full sun. The species I have is wild, it was at the bottom of my driveway between my neighbor and myself. He re-dug his ditch and piled the dirt and rock on top of the ajuga patch, but it came back the next year.

Positive Terry On Aug 31, 2002, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

So far, I have high regard for this plant - but it's far away from my lawn. I need a groundcover to fill in around a seating area, and this is filling the bill nicely. Hopefully I won't regret planting it.

Negative waddale On May 31, 2002, waddale from Marshfield, MA wrote:

I discovered this plant in my lawn a few years ago. Now it's everywhere, displacing grass and garden alike. (Ajuga is also planted in the medieval herb garden at the Cloisters in upper Manhattan - New York City). I have found it incredibly invasive and impossible to eradicate. Even after weeding it carefully, so as not to break it off from its many runners, it returns as vigorous as ever. Might be wonderful in a container or under a watchful eye - but don't turn your back on it.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Easily grown in average, medium wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best foliage color in sun but also grows well in shade. Wide soil tolerance, but prefers moist, humusy soils. Provide good air circulation and divide when clumps become overcrowded. A slow growing plant that is less invasive than many of the other ajugas. Plants may be mowed on high setting after blooming in order to remove spent flower spikes and to tidy the appearance of the planting.

Neutral gardendragon On Aug 14, 2001, gardendragon from Ladysmith, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Deadheading prevents excessive seeding and improves the overall appearance of the plant. Hedge shears or a weed whacker/string trimmer, can be used for large plantings.

Plants usually can even tolerated occasional, but NOT repeated mowing. Cut back runners drastically whenever necessary to keep plant from spreading too far. Thinning of plants can reduce the incidence of crown rot, if plants are infected, prune out diseased sections.

Plants are evergreen, do not prune for winter. Deadleafing may be required to clean up plants a bit in the spring or occasionally through the growning season.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Carlotta, California
Cool, California
Corning, California
Fallbrook, California
Merced, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Brookfield, Connecticut
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Caseyville, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Warren, Indiana
Gonzales, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Foxboro, Massachusetts
Newbury, Massachusetts
Eastpointe, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Kansas City, Missouri
Lees Summit, Missouri
Ithaca, New York
Jefferson, New York
Penn Yan, New York
West Babylon, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Grove City, Ohio
Jay, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2 reports)
Portland, Oregon
Friedensburg, Pennsylvania
Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Hope Valley, Rhode Island
Regina, Saskatchewan
Conway, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Hurst, Texas
Irving, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Winnsboro, Texas
Putney, Vermont
West Dummerston, Vermont
Falls Church, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Ellsworth, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin
New Auburn, Wisconsin
Casper, Wyoming

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