Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ajuga

Ajuga is a member of the mint family, and like most mints, its rapid growth rate may create problems. If this invasive attribute of Ajuga is a problem, it may be necessary to use some type of edging material to keep it within bounds.

Ajuga tolerates a wide range of soil conditions as long as soil is well drained. The soil pH should be somewhere within the range of 3.7 to 6.5. It may be grown in any type of light from full sun to full shade. The leaves will tend to be smaller when grown in full sun, but the plant will produce more flower spikes. Ajuga prefers moist soil, but will tolerate drought remarkably well.

Established plants should be set or transplanted in the garden in early spring. Plant them 12 to 15 inches apart, being careful not to plant too deeply. The crown should never be covered with soil or the plant will rot and die. Ajuga is propagated by division, which can be done in fall or spring. The runners are easily removed from the mother plant when they are young. Removal of these offsets will become more difficult as they age, because they will become entangled in the main plant. It is a good idea to remove these runners periodically anyway, even if they are to be discarded. This will help to keep the plant contained.

Pruning is done by either mowing or cutting the foliage back to the ground. About every third year, large, crowded groupings should be thinned out to reduce the chance of crown rot. As non variegated foliage appears on variegated forms of Ajuga, it should be removed. This will prevent the plant from reverting back to it's original green form.

(I did not write this, I don't know where it came from)