Bugleweed: Flowering Perennial and Groundcover

At a greenhouse auction I attended last night I picked up a large  flat of mixed perennials. Four of the containers had Bugleweed plants. I have heard this perennial flower/groundcover can be invasive so I wanted to find out more information on it.

The plants grow along the ground, forming a mat that can keep weeds from making headway. Some people even use is as more of a grass in hard to maintain areas as it will choke out all weeds. They have a rounded leaf and bloom in May and June with irregular flowers in spiked clusters.

They grow in ordinary, well-drained garden soil, with full sun or partial shade. They are considered easy to take care of. In areas with mild winters or under a good snow cover, they are evergreen.

Bugleweed is excellent as ground cover and make a stunning edging at the front of a border as they emphasis the other flowers colors. They are perfect for tumbling over rock edges and if you add another ground cover with color this makes a great statement. If you use these as a ground covers place the plants 10 inches apart. They will quickly fill an area.

These plants do grow quickly but are easily uprooted so can be weeded down or moved to other areas. Many consider this plant invasive but with a little care it can be easily maintained. If you want to propegate the plant do so in the spring or fall.

There are two varieties available. Ajuga pyramidalis which bears brilliant blue flowers on 6-inch spikes and will stay bushy. It does not spread as widely as other varieties. In the fall, the leaves turn to purple-bronze. Ajuga reptans is the ground cover that spreads more rapidly.

Bugleweed related varieties: Metallica Crispa has purplish-brown leaves with crisped edges, and Alba bears white flowers. Burgundy Glow bears blue flowers with leaves in three colors: new growth is burgundy-red, but as the leaves age, they become creamy white and dark pink. Rosea has rose flowers.

Bugleweed does have several herbal uses but as with any plant that can be used herbally, it’s best to research the plants uses thoroughly.

I will watch this ground cover carefully to see how invasive it is. As with most plants that tend to be invasive a little care can usually control them. If not, they are not in my gardens.

Tags: Bugleweed, perennial flower, perennial used as ground cover, perennial with herbal uses

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