Abriana1(z5MO)October 5, 2003

Newbie! I recently planted ajuga at the edge of one of my shade gardens due to having a very hard time getting grass to grow. Should I be concerned this will become too invasive in years to come. If so, anything else you recommend that will be easier to contain.

I'd also appreciate your thoughts on pachysandra. I am considering planting this under some old oaks (my 3acre yard is complete shade and very rocky).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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ajuga is slowly taking over my little patch of lawn- and I rather like it, since I think lawns in general are boring and a pain in the keister to maintain...I would think that a simple 'pound into the ground' edging would contain the poor stuff if it bothers you...

I've really come to love the pachys I planted at my dad's in desperation one year...three years later, they're starting to make nice thick beds, and since I planted one round of plains, and one round of striped- I'm actually getting some variation in the beds. you can naturalize daffodils in the beds, they come up, they bloom, they die, and you can just tuck the spend leaves under the pachys...

it's quite pretty in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2003 at 10:15AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi. I'm a newbie, too, and 2 yrs. ago I bought some Ajuga to fill in under a clump Maple tree. The following Spring it had spread so incredibly it scared me. Thus, I decided it was too invasive for the small area I put it in and moved it to an area that's not watered regularly and it croaked. (I wasn't sad.) My neighbor, a knowledgeable gardener, told me it's very aggressive and she pulls it out only to find more elsewhere. In the right spot, it could be a good solution. It wasn't for me.

I do have pachy "green sheen" and love it. It's more behaved and predictable. The leaves are much darker green than the usual pachy and look like they have been polished. I had never seen it before and now wouldn't have any other kind. Everyone remarks how beautiful it is. I have a Sum and Substance (chartruse leaves) hosta next to it and it's a great foil. Go to My Page, second photo. It's on the left side of the bridge (next yr. I'll take better pix. I'm new to digital camera stuff, too!) Happy digging.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2003 at 11:06AM
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TamJP(z7 PA)

I happen to love ajuga, although I do understand how it could be a problem. You'll probably have a good idea after the first year how vigorous it will be in your location. It's not very hard to dig it up if it gets out of line, unless it's wedged tighly in among a thick lawn.

I have some growing around the edge of a raised bed in dry shade, and it is growing very slowly. It doesn't bloom very much where it is. Since I have trouble growing just about anything in this spot it's working out very well for me. As chinacat suggests, an edgeing would work if you need to keep it out of the lawn, unless you like to keep it spreading as a lawn replacement.

Pachy isn't my personal favorite, but it's nice enough, and I find it well behaved. Some varieties are more interesting than the basic type. The roots arene't terribly deep, and I've found it very easy to move if needed. If I wanted "no-brainer" landscaping I would use more of it. I enjoy weeding and like to have lots of variety of plants to look at, so I intend to keep my pachy patch small.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2003 at 10:24AM
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Paradox01985(z6 MA)

I had some very nice ajuga in a dry spot that had partial shade but some sun during the afternoon. It was great for a number of years and had beautiful blue flower stalks in the spring, but then it started to die off in the spot where I wanted it and coming up all over the grass where I didn't want it. I tried replanting the area but didn't have much success with it. It was relatively easy to dig up from the grass, so I don't think that's a terrible problem. Pachysandra is much easier to manage and I've had it in a shady spot for about fifteen years with no problems. It kills weeds, needs very little maintenance and looks nice year round.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2003 at 10:40AM
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Thanks for all the follow-ups, they were very helpful. I have put a divider between the bed and the Ajuga in hopes to keep it from invading the other plants. The lawn is not a problem, it is in an area with deep shade and we are having a very hard time getting grass to grow. We have about 20 full size oaks in the front yard alone so grass stands little chance (not to mention 2 full size Chocolate Labs and twin 4yr olds). I have planted the pachy in 2 small areas. We will see if it does okay thru the St Louis winter.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 12:48AM
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You should visit the Ozarks forum here at Gardenweb. I'm not sure whether the St. Louis area is considered part of the Ozarks. I think it's on the edge but close enough. Your growing conditions are probably very much the same - especially since you mentioned rocks. Lots of us with large yards and acreage in that forum too (and rocks). Usually oaks are considered good to garden under though, so you may have good luck getting plants to grow there even though the grass doesn't do well.
I have twins too! They are 5 years old (almost six).

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 8:51AM
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Ooops - I meant to post a link to the Ozarks forum but forgot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ozarks Region Gardening

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 8:58AM
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Christie SW MO - Thanks for the reminder on the Ozark Forum, I had not visited that sight in quite some time. I find all these sights so helpful. Now that my twins are at an "easy age", I have so much more time to actually get a little yard work done and am enjoying every minute, now just if everything grows!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 8:06PM
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pamcrews(6 SW Missouri)

I have Ajuga under my shade trees. I love it because it grows in thick and chokes out weeds. Come spring the ajuga produces pretty little purple flowers that last for a very long time. It's a pretty sight and I've gotten lots of compliments on it. If it becomes too much for you, it's very easy to thin out. Good Luck.
Pam, Pensacola, FL

    Bookmark   October 23, 2003 at 10:33PM
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threedogsmom(6b Carroll Valley PA)

I have it planted among other perennials in my shade garden. Is it going to choke out all of the other perennials or will it just fill in the spaces between them ? I am going for the "filled in spaces" look. Definitely don't want to lose any plants because of ajuga's nature. Please advise !


    Bookmark   November 5, 2003 at 10:54AM
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i was considering planting ajuga underneath a large cedar that i have.Do you think it will do well there?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 9:45AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

It's been my experience that the cultivars of Ajuga, like 'Burgundy Glow'(one of my favorites), move much, much more slowly than the straight species. A. 'Chocolate Chip', for example, is very slow.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 7:53AM
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I've just purchased some "chocolate chip ajuga," but it was very expensive and I didn't get enough to space it as it says on the card, 10"-14" apart. Can you please tell me how this spreads...does it send runners underground where it will just take longer to fill in if I space them further apart? Or does it only grow to a certain size? Then will I have to divide it and move it around? Would appreciate if someone could send me an email about this at latte1@sbcglobal.net. Thanks so much for your help.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2004 at 12:54PM
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mrsfixitct(CT Shore)

If anyone in the CT area is looking for ajuga, we have plenty...It's slowly but surely taking over my lawn...come help yourself!!! Seems the more that I take out this year, the more that comes back/shows up next year.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 9:21PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

In that case, Mrs. Fixit, wouldn't it be dangerous to give it away? ;o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Janet's Garden Blog

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 4:08PM
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I've got a patch of ajuga as a ground cover in my entry garden that I love. It needs thinning and I want to take what I thin and plant them in other areas. Does anyone know the best way to do this? My 'patch' is about 5ftx5ft and very thick. Any suggestions appreciated!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:03PM
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I work for an organic lawn care company, and despite the fact that Ajuga is praised my many as a great ground cover, which I believe it is, IT IS IN FACT INVASIVE and I have many clients that disgruntled by the fact that it has gotten into their lawns (let me state I love all weeds!) but have to please the client... Ajuga can grow in patches the size of a dinner plate or take over the whole lawn if the conditions are right. Also I read it is poisonous if any part of the plant is digested...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:55PM
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greenmulberry(5-Iowa City)

I really love how ajuga spreads through a shady lawn. Sometimes I help it out by weeding the grass around it. I have some large ten foot square areas of it in the lawn and they are beautiful! It was here long before I bought the house, so I have no idea how long it took to get that established.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 11:20PM
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Jon 6a SE MA

Tried planting Ajuga (chocoate chip) with no success. I have Pachysandra Terminalis growing great under a maple. After a few years I felt it was spreading too far so i took some good 6 inch wide edging and constrained the growth to where I want it. It looks great. It eats up the leaves that fall on it and takes close to zero care. Yes, they will grow under the edging, but it seems it takes a lot out of them and the small sprouts are easy to keep controlled. When they are held in an enclosure they get high, thick and lush. Nothing else stands a chance. If left to ramble the only thing that will stop it is sunshine and it will not grow out into the sunny areas.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:03PM
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I had planted Pachysandra 'Green Carpet' under a river birch, but removed after reading it likes to spread. I saved one plug, and planted it in some dried out dirt on the north side of a garage. The space is under an overhang, and rarely gets any moisture from rainshowers. Let me say, after only one year, the Pachy has already begun to put up new shoots and seems to be very content there. The area is constrained by brick borders embedded in the ground, so hopefully that will contain it...
I've read it does well with other perennials and does especially well growing amongst tree roots. It even does well under evergreens!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Sometime during the 21st century, someone in our neighborhood purchased and set out burgundy ajuga. By this spring, 2010, every lawn in the neighborhood has some patches of ajuga. My lawn has been nearly taken over. The only thing that holds it in check at all is full, all-day sun. Two neighbors have had to re-sod this spring. Be warned! Ajuga spreads by roots, by runners, by seeds, by sheer cussedness. Any way a plant can spread, ajuga spreads. And since it is PURPLE, it is not really a good lawn replacement, to my way of thinking.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:42PM
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newbiehavinfun(7a - Southern NJ)

Ajuga is all over my neighborhood from seeding. I don't mind it (free plants, right?) but your neighbors might. I can't say enough good about pachysandra. Such a great groundcover and I love the idea of tucking daffodils into it. Now I'm off to find more pachysandra! I'm inspired! Yay!!!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 12:12PM
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