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Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
ENLARGE IMAGE Deer proof and trouble-free groundcover!
  • bugleweed-in-a-pot
  • ajuga-foliage-close-up
  • ajuga-foliage-overtop-pebbles
  • ground cover ajuga black scallop in front of salvia may night
  • black scallop blue flowers mixed with sedum angelina

Ajuga 'Black Scallop'

4 seasons of color! Sun or shade groundcover with textured leaves and lasting performance!
Item: #AJUBS1Q
ZONE 3,4,5,6,7,8,9
As low as $12.19
  • Deer proof & maintenance free groundcover
  • Thrives in sun or shade
  • Near-black foliage looks great all season
  • Not bothered by insects or diseases
  • Late spring brings dozens of blue flowers
  • Ship size: Jumbo 1 Quart
  • View all GROUND COVERS
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Ajuga 'Black Scallop' Description

Ajuga 'Black Scallop' or bugleweed crinkled, glossy near-black leaves adorn this mat-forming  creeping ground cover. Handsome evergreen leaves have a thicker texture than most other ajugas allowing them to stay stately and colorful from spring-winter. During cooler weather, they turn quite dark and may lighten up somewhat during the heat of summer.  3" tall mats do a superb job suppressing weeds, leaving maintenance a breeze! 

Ajuga's colorful carpet is topped with dozens of 6 inch spikes of blue flowers in late spring and early summer. Otherwise it stays a compact 3 inches tall and can grow 8-12 inches wide in a season and up to 24 inches wide overall.

Annoying pests such as deer & rabbits stay away

Growing Tips

This foolproof ultra hardy perennial groundcover will grow in both shade & sun in average soil with moderate moisture and good drainage.  For a dark, glossy sheen, plant in in an area where it gets a few hours of sun.  Even in full shade, they are still lovely.  Black Scallop is not as aggressive as other forms of ajuga, but it is still a fast grower, filling Just be careful not to plant it too close to your lawn.   Ajuga tolerate occasonal foot traffic.  Some websites recommend mowing after flowering, but we don't feel this is necessary to maintain it's good looks. Overall a low maintenance plant.

Ways to Use Ajuga

Beneath trees. Competes well with tree and shrub roots where other groundcovers fail.  Their rugged disposition makes them ideal for banks and slopes as well as a small turf substitute.  Black Scallop offers beautiful contrast with lighter color stepping stones

Formal Gardens.  This low grower stays tidy all season long. Combine with buxus and other shrubs.

Containers.  Easy and somewhat drought proof in containers. Foliage spills over the sides of a pot. (check out our picture!) Lovely in light colored contrasting containers.  For an easy idea for all season container gardening plant a thuja Emerald in the center of the pot and surround with ajuga Black Scallop. This no-fuss combination looks stellar even in winter months where there is little else to enjoy.

Underplanting/Groundcover/Mulch Replacement. Consider ajuga as a replacement for costly mulch.  Plant at the base of Ornamental Grasses, shade loving Hydrangeas, Hellebores, or Hostas.

Special features:  Cold hardy, Deer resistant, Easy care, Evergreen, Fast growing, Fall color, Foliage interest, Heat tolerant, Multi-seasonal interest, Pest resistant, Season extender

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name:
    Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
  • Common name:
    Bugleweed, Carpet bugle
  • Zone:
  • Sun exposure:
    Sun-part shade-Shade
  • Delivery:
    See Schedule
  • Ship form:
    1 quart
  • Soil type:
  • Soil moisture:
  • Height x width:
    3" x 12"
  • Flower color:
  • Foliage color:
  • Bloom season:
    Late spring
  • Uses:
    Alpine and rock, Container gardening, Edging, Ground cover, Rock garden, Small spaces
  • Cannot ship to:
    AK, HI
  • Patent #:PP#15,815



Soil: Prefers moist, humusy soils with good drainage, but tolerates moderately dry ones. The soil should be acidic with a pH in the range of 3.7 to 6.5. Avoid planting in wet, heavy soils, and provide good air circulation.
Light: Will grow in full sun or shade, but best foliage color usually occurs in part-sun locations (at least 3-4 hours of sun per day). The foliage will tend to be smaller when grown in full sun, but the plant will produce more flower spikes.
Water: Easily grown in average, medium moisture soils.
Spacing: Space plants 6-9" apart for prompt cover being careful not to plant too deeply. The crown should never be covered with soil or the plant will rot and die.
Fertilizing: Ajugas seldom need fertilizing. Over fertilizing can encourage crown rot.
Winterizing: No specific care needed
Maintenance & pruning: Can be propagated by digging and dividing established clumps in the fall or early in the spring. About every third year, large, crowded groupings should be thinned out to reduce the chance of crown rot. Plants are very low maintenance, but may be cut back to the ground after flowering, if necessary, to rejuvenate the foliage. Large plantings may be mowed on a high mower setting to remove spent flower spikes and to tidy the appearance of the planting. Avoid planting adjacent to lawn areas since little islands of ajuga may start appearing in the grass. On variegated forms promptly remove any non-variegated leaves that may appear. This will prevent the plant from reverting back to it's original green form.