how invasive is ajuga?

marricgardensJune 12, 2006

I would like to underplant a 'Toba' hawthorn with ajuga. I was wondering just how invasive this one is. Do you think the root system would compete with the hawthorn? Has anyone had any experience growing it? Thanks, Marg

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

I was given a cute little plant last year (I think it was 2-3 inches across then), and this spring, it was about 6-8 inches across when it came up. If I spread out the runners to the size it would be if it had the freedom to invade, it would be a plant three feet in diameter now. This is one little plant.

It's beautiful and I love it, but I grow everything in containers, so I don't have to worry about invasiveness. This could very easily be a major thug in the ground.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 4:10PM
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sunny_megs(z5a ONT)

I had it in my garden when I moved into my house. It is a really cute plant, but I did find it took over. I t did not kill anything off, and other plants were able to grow through it, but I ended up digging most of it out to make room for other plants I really wanted. I do still have some and have to prune it back constantly as it spreads.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 11:15PM
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It's a spreader. A good groundcover but I personally wouldn't describe it as invasive. It has the same characteristics as my creeping thymes, jenny, veronica which are easily controlled by pruning it back and pulling out excess growth.

I describe a plant as invasive when it provides very deep roots, appears in areas far from it's original site. Very agressive and crowding out the other plants. These include artemesia silver kings/queen, bamboo, monarda, obedient plants, chinese lanterns.. Boy -- I got to tell you the Chinese lanterns are terrible. They managed to bypass a deep barrier and started showing up far from it's original site. I've been pulling them out and they've come back repeatedly


    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 12:51PM
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By its very nature, a groundcover is a spreader and can be invasive. We have very poor soil and I find ajuga does well in those conditions. I agree with Ianna, it won't overpower any decent sized plant but you will probably always have it. ;-)

I have recently seen many new cultivars of this plant in bronze, purple and varigrated forms.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 2:26PM
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Thanks for the answers everyone. The spot I am going to plant it is in front of the house. There's lots of room so I think I will get it and try. There won't be any other plants under the hawthorn, just the ajuga. Since it's in the middle of the lawn, maybe mowing will keep it down? There are other shrubs further up so if it spreads up there it might look nice. Wish me luck! Marg

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 4:23PM
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Mowing will keep it 'down' but won't stop it from spreading.

My SIL had some in a garden -still does - but it spread to the lawn. In this case it actually solved a problem which they had which was growing lawn in that particular. This area does not have heavy foot traffic and the ajuga (this was the plain green) looks beautiful. They mow it as they do the rest of the lawn, and every year it gets bigger. Really nice and green even in the dry times of summer.

I bought the plain green and the chocolate this year and am trying it for the second time. We have a slope which goes into the ditch and I'm tired of having to mow it all the time. Just planting a small patch to see how it does.

I wouldn't hesitate to plant it under a Hawthorn or trees, maybe even shrubs. It would act as a living mulch. The only issue is it spreading to other areas - maybe use a 6 inch barrier? That might work.

Used to have it in the perennial beds, but took it out.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 9:54AM
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sharont(z5 can)

The ajuga I planted in several gardens some years ago is not here now. It has move into the lawns & frankly I don't mind it. In one garden it moves eastward. Most bees love the blue flowers so it is a beneficial in several ways! I estimate you will have it under your hawthorn for three years. You may have to subdivide to back-fill places where it has vacated!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 12:30AM
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