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Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'
  • Ajuga Chocolate Chip growing between large rocks
  • Ajuga Chocolate Chip growing with bulbs and other perennials near a stone walkway
  • Bugleweed growing between stepping stones on a path
  • Closeup of Bugleweed blue flower spikes
  • Bugleweed growing between white irregularly shaped paving stones
  • Ajuga Chocolate Chip growing between pavers arranged in a checkerboard pattern
  • Bugleweed close up of Chocolate colored foliage
  • Ajuga Chocolate chip growing along stone edging

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'

Easy to love, easy to grow!
Item: #AJUCC1Q
ZONE 4,5,6,7,8,9
As low as $11.19
  • Deer resistant evergreen ground cover with spikes of blue flowers.
  • Spreads quickly to form a wide mat of chocolate-colored foliage
  • Tight growing mat keeps the weeds at bay
  • Effective replacement for turf
  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Light: Full Sun-Part Shade, Mature Size: 3" x 12"
  • Ship size: Jumbo 1 Quart
  • View all GROUND COVERS
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Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' Description

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip', also known as bugleweed, is a low-growing creeping groundcover. This particular selection is prized for its handsome evergreen foliage with deep burgundy-chocolate tones. During cooler weather, the plants turn quite dark and may lighten up somewhat during the heat of summer.  Its mat-forming habit does a superb job suppressing weeds, so maintenance is a breeze! 

'Chocolate Chip' ajuga forms a colorful 3" high carpet that is topped with dozens of 6" spikes of blue flowers in late spring and early summer. It can grow 8-12" wide in a season and up to 36" wide overall.

It is normally unbothered by deer and rabbits.

Growing Tips

This foolproof hardy perennial groundcover will grow in both shade & sun in average soil with moderate moisture and good drainage. 'Chocolate Chip' fills in fast so should not be planted too close to a lawn or unedged bed.   Ajuga will tolerate occasional foot traffic.  Some websites recommend mowing after flowering, but we haven't found this necessary. Overall, it's a colorful, low maintenance plant and a terrific mulch substitute.

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 turf substitute for small areas.  Very nice planted between stepping stones.

This low grower stays tidy all season long and can readily be combined with boxwood for an easy-care shade combination. 

Containers.  Foliage spills over the sides of a pot for an abundant, attractive look. Lovely in light colored contrasting containers.  For an easy idea for all season container gardening, plant Thuja 'Emerald' in the center of the pot and surround with ajuga   This no-fuss combination looks stellar even in winter months when there is little else to enjoy. 

Underplanting/Groundcover/Mulch Replacement. Consider ajuga as an alternative to mulch.  Plant around ornamental grasses, hydrangeas, hellebores, or hostas.

Looking for a lot of Chocolate Chip ajuga to fill in a larger area? Take a look at our jumbo landscape plugs!

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

Quick Facts

  • Botanical name:
    Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' (also known as 'Valfredda' )
  • Common name:
    Carpet Bugle, Bugleweed
  • 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 #:



Soil: Prefers moist soils, rich in organic matter, with good drainage; tolerates moderately dry ones. 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 may rot.
Fertilizing: Ajuga seldom needs fertilizing.  Over-fertilizing can lead to 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 its original green form. 


Write a review
My Favorite Groundcover.
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Sherry K Bradshaw  |  Sep 5, 2020
I order Ajuga jumbos once or twice a year. Over the years; I find chocolate chip and other types are excellent -- as advertised or even better. Grows best of any plant in my stubborn, rocky, clay soil with too much shade. Woodland setting with a lot trees! Survives the worst of our winter freezes and summer intense heat waves in mountains.

Best Plants Ever!!
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Maureen  |  Jul 14, 2020
I bought 4 flats of the Ajuga "Chocolate Chip" jumbo landscape plugs, over 120 plants. They are the best plants I've ever bought anywhere; in beautiful shape when they arrived and so magnificently healthy that, with that name, they looked good enough to eat! I am so happy to see them growing and thriving. I see them every day and they make me smile. Thank you!!

Very Pleased - better than big box store
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Molly  |  Jun 15, 2019
I just finished planting my chocolate chip ajugas. I needed a few more and bought them from a big box store. First difference I noticed was the strong hardy roots on the Great Garden Plants ajugas. Although the tops were the same size on the plants from the two sources, the roots were much more developed and healthy on Great Garden Plants plants!

Wonderful Plants!
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Ann P  |  Aug 22, 2018
We are thrilled with our plants! Only lost one out of all. Although the wait was long, they have done beautifully and I think of your company each time I water them.

Nice Plants!
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Cheryl W.  |  Jul 23, 2018
The Ajuga you sent were so nice. Thank you for answering my questions and sending me suggestions. I have ordered from you before and I always have been pleased! Thanks!

Very Impressive Plants!
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Elaine C.  |  Aug 7, 2017
Please keep me on your mailing list. The plants that I bought from you are doing great. I especially loved the careful way you packed your plants. Very Impressive plants. You are a very caring company and I am only going to purchase plants from you from now on.

Wonderful plants.
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Dorothy C.  |  Aug 30, 2012
My recent order of plants was received yesterday, and I am thrilled with the quality. Thank you! The plants were packed so expertly that even though the delivery person didn't observe the 'UP notice on the boxes, the plants were still intact and in great shape. It was with great pleasure that I unpacked the plants and admired each one yesterday. I certainly would recommend your company to others. Thank you for your efficiency and for the wonderful plants! I'll be back for more!