Ajuga reptans

‘Pink Elf’


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Ajuga ‘Pink Elf’

A pretty flowering groundcover

Produces a mass of stout spikes of pink bugle flowers in spring, making a very fetching sight. Then there are some repeats in autumn.
Flower spikes rise 15cm. above a dense flat mat of glossy, deep green foliage.
Ajuga ‘Pink Elf’ makes a thick matting groundcover, that suppresses weeds and carpets the ground so very prettily.
Sadly, it has no fragrance – it is the only sin.

Where to use in the garden

Ajuga ‘Pink Elf is ideal to use under trees and shrubs to carpet out weeds. 
Great groundcover for beneath rose bushes, where the pink flowers can complement the rose blooms, and the glossy foliage mat provides a wonderful foil for the colours of the roses .
Flowers best in 1/2 Shade; Dappled Sun & Shade; Morning Sun with Afternoon Shade; or Full Shade with good light levels. However Ajuga also copes in the extremes of Full Shade or Sun (though the foliage may scorch in Full Sun in hot summer districts).

Neglect proof and easy

Ajuga ‘Pink Elf’ is a fast grower, quickly making a tight-knit, weed suppressing flat mat.
Can be planted between paving stones, or as an eye-catching edge beside a path, as it can tolerate light foot traffic.
The dense foliage mat will help bind a bank or sloping garden.
Also makes very eye-catching colour filling a feature pot and spilling over the edges.

Hardy and useful

Ajuga really will give it a go almost anywhere. Grows in Sun or Shade, Wet or Dry. 
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. 


Height with flowers: 15cm.
Width: 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. Everything except waterlogged. 
Fragrance: Sadly, no fragrance – it is the only sin.
Frost: Very frost hardy to at least -10C or more.
Growth: Hardy evergreen perennial groundcover.
Beneficial to wildlife: The flowers provide nectar for honey eating native birds, bees, and is 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 required as it has a naturally neat, tight growth habit. An annual feed may be applied, but Ajuga is not a hungry plant.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Both rabbits and deer tend to treat it with ignore, as it has a bitter astringent taste.
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 are variations on European Ajugas, where their native habitat is in woodland.
Myths & Legends: Ajuga has gathered a swathe of common names, with most associated with 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 herbal uses was as a tea to treat sore throats and mouth ulcers. 

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