Ajuga is one of those perennials that is as adaptive as it is entrancing. The low-growing rosettes boast beautiful foliage and spikes of eye-catching flowers in spring. Most varieties are runners which spread by stolons. It makes an excellent groundcover, but can you plant ajuga in pots? The attractive leaves and spreading nature of the plant perform as bright colored fillers in containers and may even be evergreen in many zones. Growing ajuga in containers provides long lasting texture and a foil for many other blooming or foliage plants.
Can You Plant Ajuga in Pots?
One of my go-to plants for containers or garden beds is ajuga. It is hardy, unfussy, brilliantly colored and gives more and more plants each season. Container grown ajuga is just as useful and perks up a pot when other plants have yet to bloom or have died back. The lively color and jaunty little flowers can grow in either shade or sun, providing many options for containers in any situation.
Gardeners with a love for ajuga in the garden will be delighted to know the plants do well in confined containers as well. Even the runner types will thrive in a well-drained medium with plenty of organic material.
The pop of color and low growth habit are perfect for green leafy specimens and blooming perennials that haven’t flowered yet. Once your container is in full flower, ajuga doesn’t compete with other plants’ brilliance. Instead, it enhances the tones and textures that are coming into their own as spring progresses into summer. Spring is the best time for ajuga planting in pots but in temperate regions you can also create a container garden with the plant in fall.
Ajuga plants come with foliage of purple or green tinged with maroon, bronze, variegated pink, green, white and even silver-green. Most have blue flowers but a few have pink blooms. The rainbow nature of the plant ensures there is a variety for every container need.
The most common are the purple-maroon leafed cultivars with bright blue spring flower spikes. Try growing ajuga in containers with summer perennials like:
A complete foliage container is a spectacle of texture and hues if you combine ajuga with any of the following:
Ajuga is fairly resistant to dry conditions once established and can also be used with more arid loving plants like:
Because container grown ajuga can tolerate shade conditions, a container comprised of hosta, houittuynia, and brunnera will provide low light containers that capture any stray sunbeam and transform into a kaleidoscope of color and infectious foliage texture.
How to Care for Potted Ajuga Plants
There are few special rules for ajuga planting in pots. You do need to know how to care for potted ajuga plants during winter and what is expected regarding water and fertilizer. In combined container settings, try to plant specimens that match ajuga’s cultural preferences.
The plant needs consistent moisture until established. It can tolerate either full sun or total shade. Feed the plants twice per year, beginning in early spring and again two months later. Remove runners if you wish and plant them in other containers or in the ground.
Flower spikes may be cut off when they are spent or leave them, as the dried spires have some architectural interest. In the winter, mulch around the root zone of ajuga to protect it from cold snaps, which are more severely felt in unsheltered containers. Pull away the mulch in late winter to early spring so new foliage and rosettes can easily grow.
Ajuga is an uncomplicated plant with many uses and years of resilient beauty.