Bronze Beauty AjugaAjuga reptans ‘Bronze Beauty’
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Ajuga reptans ‘Bronze Beauty’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Bronze Beauty Ajuga forms a dense low mat of glossy, evergreen leaves, just a few inches tall. It is an ideal groundcover almost everywhere, the perfect solution to those difficult spots where you need a low carpet to soften and brighten a corner. The leaves are bronzy-green, making this variety perfect when you don’t want the deep reds of many other bugleweeds. Bronze Beauty Bugleweed has the richest blue flowers of all too, making a fabulous look in spring when they rise in 9-inch tall spires. Grow it beneath shrubs or trees, edging paths or in the cracks of paving, or anywhere you need a trouble-free groundcover plant.
Bronze Beauty Ajuga will grow in full sun in cooler zones, and it’s hardy even in zone 3. Grow it also in partial shade and in light full shade – just not in the deep shade beneath low-hanging evergreen trees. It grows in almost any soil, preferring some moisture, but it is so tolerant it will grow just about anywhere. Deer and rabbits won’t eat it, and it isn’t generally bothered by pests or diseases. You can mow down the flower spikes when they finish, if you want – otherwise it needs no care or attention at all.
Finding the right ground cover plant for your goals is important, but not always easy. If you get it wrong, money and time is spent, and the result is frustrating. Perhaps the plant didn’t grow fast enough – or maybe it grew too fast, and became invasive. So let’s see if Bronze Beauty Ajuga is right for you. Do you need to cover a larger space? This variety is more vigorous than several others, and is best for bigger areas. Do you want a more natural look, or something with strong color? Bronze Beauty Ajuga is just like its name – the leaves are greenish, with a flush of reddish bronze, not the deep, rich, purple-reds of varieties like Black Scallop. So for wilder, less formal areas, it’s perfect. How important is flowering? Maybe you don’t care much, or maybe you just aren’t aware of how awesome Ajuga looks in spring – especially Bronze Beauty Ajuga, which has the bluest, more vibrant flowers, like a fragment of the sky just fell onto your garden beds. If you are starting to get interested, read on. . .
Bronze Beauty Ajuga is a fast-growing perennial plant that forms a mat of many tiny plants, each one a cluster of leaves, joined together by short horizontal stems lying on the soil. It grows by sending out new stems, and as the leaf clusters develop the root into the soil, and grow larger. Each leaf is 2 to 3 inches long, shaped like a spoon, ending in a circular section about 1 to 2 inches across. The leaves are slightly scalloped around the edges, and they are glossy, brownish-green, and slightly crinkled. Older leaves are more greenish, and the degree of red-brown on young leaves is greater with more sun exposure. A plant soon forms a dense, weed-resistant carpet 2 to 5 inches thick across the soil. The foliage is evergreen and stays alive through all but the very coldest winters, usually emerging from beneath the snow looking fresh and ready to go.
Once spring is underway and the weather has warmed just a little, typically by May in cooler zones, 8 to 9 inch spikes of flowers and small leaves sprout up in profusion. The flowers are irregular, with a large lower lip spreading out as a landing pad for pollinating insects, who love to visit, as do hummingbirds. They are a wonderful warm, deep, true-blue – the bluest of all the flowers among Ajuga varieties, and blooming lasts for several weeks.
Bronze Beauty Ajuga is a top-pick for covering larger areas, such as beneath trees and in beds of large shrubs. It is also suitable for planting in spaces between rocks on slopes, terraces and retaining walls, particularly larger structures. If you want to fill a bigger space quickly, it’s your guy. Because of its vigor and spread, it is less suitable for small gardens, compared to other varieties of Ajuga, and shouldn’t be planted in beds edged by lawn, as it can spread and grow among the grass – which some people find charming. Terrific choice if you have semi-wild areas (although it isn’t a native plant of North America) and for planting beneath trees growing in rough ground and on slopes. For ground cover, space plants up to 18 inches apart, or a bit closer if you are in a big hurry.
Very winter hardy, you can grow Bronze Beauty Ajuga in zone 3, although it will suffer some winter damage, and easily from zone 4 to zone 10, in all areas that are not prone to long droughts.
This plant will grow in full sun in cooler zones, if the soil is moist. Otherwise it does best in partial shade with morning sun, and in the light shade beneath deciduous trees and shrubs. It will also grow, but not as vigorously and with fewer flowers, in deeper shade beneath large evergreens. The ideal soil is moderately rich and moist, and although it will grow in pretty wet areas, it does need some drainage, and won’t grow in swampy ground. It will grow in all soil types, from clay to sand, and acid to alkaline. Although it does enjoy moisture, established plantings will take average summer dryness, although they may end up looking a bit tired, and might appreciate some watering.
Deer and rabbits generally leave the Bronze Beauty Ajuga alone, and it doesn’t normally have any serious pests or diseases. It really needs no maintenance, and can be left to take care of itself. If it should spread where you don’t want it, it is shallow-rooted and easy to weed out if the soil is damp. If you find it has become untidy, and you don’t like the dead flower stems in late spring, then set your mower to high and run it over the patch. You don’t even need to rack up the debris, because new growth will quickly cover it, and your planting will look great again in a short time.
Of the 40 or so species of Ajuga in the world, only Ajuga reptans is widely grown and is the parent of almost all varieties. It grows all through Europe and North Africa, and eastwards as far as Iran. The variety called ‘Bronze Beauty’ has been around for a long, long time, and its origin has been lost.
Areas of Bronze Beauty Ajuga are among the most beautiful semi-natural ground covers you can find, in bloom and out. Easy and reliable, and great in cold zones, it’s always in high demand, so measure up and order your requirements now, while we still have stock available to ship out to you.