Ajuga hybrida ‘Chocolate Lace’
Lacy blue flowers above a carpet of ever-chocolate foliage, make Ajuga hybrida ‘Chocolate Lace’ a very handy groundcover
Weed suppressing ground-cover
Narrow miniature leaves are a rich dark chocolate colour all year.
And they make a beautiful tight carpet flat to the ground, so successfully suppressing weeds all year.
Because ‘Chocolate Lace’ is the tightest, flattest, most ground-hugging dwarf of all the Ajuga varieties.
(Please see “Growing” section below for plant details, and where / how to grow)
Pretty all year
Ajuga hybrida ‘Chocolate Lace’ is evergreen (or in its’ case ever-chocolate), so it always makes a colour contrast to all the greens.
As the foliage mat is shiny and tough, with a sparkling texture all year.
So use it as a chocolate groundcover under taller flowering plants, roses and shrubs, where it sets off the colours of any other blooms perfectly.
Long blooming with vivid blue flowers
Lacy blue 15cm. tall flowers spikes are a long blooming treat over spring and well into summer.
Because the flowers on ‘Chocolate Lace are a particularly vivid blue.
Where to use in the garden
Ajuga ‘Chocolate Lace’ is a great groundcover for beneath roses, shrubs and trees, where little else can grow.
Although it is best in 1/2 Shade, Dappled Sun & Shade, Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade, or even Full Shade with good light levels.
However it can also cope in the extremes of Full Shade or Full Sun (though it may scorch in Full Sun in hot summer districts).
Tough in difficult places
Ajuga ‘Chocolate Lace’ can be used as a grass substitute where it is too dark for grass to grow, as it is such a tight grower, and it does not even need mowing.
So plant it between paving stones, or as an eye-catching edge beside a path, because it can tolerate light foot traffic.
Or you can use it to help bind a bank or sloping garden.
And it is very eye-catching colour filling a feature pot and spilling over the edges.
Hardy, easy & versatile
Ajuga really will give it a go almost anywhere.
It is not fussy about soil type, everything from sand to clay, though it does not enjoy being waterlogged for long. Well drained is all it requests. Not fussy about pH and will make a go of it in acid or alkaline lime soils.
Very frost hardy to at least -10C.
Will hang on during periods of dry, and tolerates heat very well.
Growing: Ajuga hybrida ‘Chocolate Lace’
– Height with flowers: Blue flower spires 15cm. high. Foliage is totally flat to the ground.
– Width: Makes a round carpet to a diameter of approximately 40cm. But will go as far as you want it to cover, and easily weeded out when it gets to the edge of the allocated space.
– Position: Best in 1/2 Shade, Dappled Sun & Shade, Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade, or Full Shade with good light levels. However also copes in the extremes of Full Shade or Sun.
– Soil: Very unfussy. So it accepts everything from sand to clay, except waterlogged. And it is not fussy about pH and will make a go of it in acid or alkaline (lime) soils.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to at least -10C or more.
– Growth: Hardy evergreen perennial groundcover.
– Beneficial for wildlife: The flowers provide nectar for honey eating native birds, bees, and are also visited by butterflies and moths.
– Beware: Please consult a medical expert before using as a herbal treatment.
– Care: Extremely low maintenance ground cover. No trimming is required as it has a naturally neat, tight growth habit. Though an annual feed may be applied, it is not essential as Ajuga is not a hungry plant.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Both rabbits and deer tend to treat it with ignore, because it has a bitter astringent taste.
– Fragrance: Sadly, no fragrance – But it is the only sin.
A plant of legend
– Origin: There are members of the Ajuga family all around the world, but particularly in Europe, Africa and Asia. So it is truly a hardy and adaptable survivor. Most of the modern garden cultivars like ‘Chocolate Lace’ are variations on European Ajugas, where their native habitat is in woodland.
– Myths & Legends: Ajuga has gathered a swathe of common names, with most reflecting the trumpet shape of the individual flowers in the stacked spire. Bugle, blue bugle, bugleherb, carpetbugle are just some of them. But it is also known as “carpenter’s herb” because it was used in traditional European herbal medicine to quench bleeding. For some people is was considered the sovereign remedy for hangovers! Other traditional European herbalists used it for a tea to treat sore throats and mouth ulcers.