Growing Zone: 3-9
Mature Height: 2 to 3 inches
Mature Width: 1 to 2 feet
Classification: Perennial Groundcover
Sunlight: Full sun to full shade
Spacing: Plant 12″ on center when planting as a ground-cover.
Flower Color: Blue spikes in late spring through early summer.
Flowering Season: April to July
Foliage: Rich Chocolate colored leaves with green undertones
Soil Condition: Average to wet soil
Water Require: Water well until established.
Uses: Extremely attractive when used as a ground cover in the mixed shade border, mass planting. deer resistant, tolerates heavy shade.
Does Not Ship To: CA, WA, OR, AZ
Ajuga Chocolate Chip is a dwarf, spreading groundcover that creates a tight mat of rich, chocolate brown foliage with deep green undertones. Numerous spikes of dark blue flowers rise above the foliage in the spring. Beautiful in containers, under planted among shrubs or between stepping stones.
Planting Ajuga Chocolate Chip:
We suggest when planting your newly purchased Ajuga Chocolate Chip plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. These are sold and shipped in plugs so planting is a breeze. Depending on the quality of your existing soil you may need to add a locally sourced compost or topsoil to the back-fill soil. We do not recommend using straight topsoil or compost as a back-fill soil because more times than not these products will retain entirely to much moisture and will cause the root system to rot. Adding compost or topsoil will help the young feeder roots to spread through the loose, nutrient rich soil, much easier than if you used solely the existing soil which more times than not will be hard and compacted. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is a great starter fertilizer that provides plants with mycorrhizae fungus. It is a naturally occurring beneficial fungus that colonizes on the new growing roots of plants. It creates a barrier between the roots of the plant and fungus and pathogens that can cause root rot. We love this product and use it on all plants we install in our own gardens. Bio-tone is a gardener’s best friend and can help guarantee your success.
Watering Ajuga Chocolate Chip:
After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Ajuga Chocolate Chip a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks. Ajuga Bronze Beauty can be watered well with a sprinkler when planting as a groundcover as they are shallow rooted. Keep in mind that since they are shallow rooted they will not have access to moisture deep in the soil until established.
Fertilizing Ajuga Chocolate Chip:
Feeding your plants is probably the single most forgotten part of growing healthy long lasting plants. We recommend feeding your Ajuga Chocolate Chip in the very early spring and again in mid summer after all new growth has hardened off.. Bio-tone starter fertilizer is the best product to use at the time of planting. Our ideal fertilizer schedule for you to use is as follows. Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Flower-tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen and potash that will be needed for healthy foliage and stem growth. Follow this up with another early summer application of Espoma Flower-Tone, this will again provide the necessary nutrients to promote a flush of beautiful foliage. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid soft growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects.
Mulching Ajuga Chocolate Chip:
We highly recommend that you mulch your Ajuga Chocolate Chip with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or base of the plant. Ajuga Bronze Beauty roots where the plantlets touch the ground so eventually the need for mulch will be less and less as the plants start to form a mat.
See our other groundcover offerings by clicking HERE: