Pruning Ajuga

Reaching only 6 to 9 inches high, Ajuga is a low-growing, vigorous herbaceous perennial. Ajuga offers vivid color and texture and works well as a ground cover in landscapes. Having minimal fertilizer and pruning needs, Ajuga is an ideal choice for a gardener who desires a high-impact plant for minimal effort.

Ajuga may outgrow its space, but it can easily be trimmed back as needed. The clumps may become overcrowded and can be thinned to rejuvenate an older plant. While no regular deadheading is required, you can tidy any spent flowers as fall approaches. If Ajuga covers a large area, set your lawnmower at its highest setting and cut back. 


When to Prune Ajuga

The best times to prune Ajuga are in early spring and fall. Trim any diseased, dead, or damaged stems during spring to encourage new growth and support Ajuga’s good health. During late summer or early fall, remove the spent flowers and leave the foliage, which stays evergreen in most climates.

Why Prune Ajuga

The two primary reasons to prune Ajuga are to control its size and promote good health. Ajuga has an exceptionally fast growth rate and a spreading habit. It may grow outside of its designated borders and can be pulled or trimmed when needed. Removing diseased, dead, or damaged stems enables the plant to focus on supporting healthy tissue and growth and reduces the plant’s susceptibility to disease and pests. Ajuga is susceptible to crown rot, so proper air circulation is vital to preventing this disease.

How to Prune Ajuga

Step 1 - Deadheading Ajuga is unnecessary

Ajuga does not require deadheading during its blooming season of May and June.

Step 2 - Rejuvenate Ajuga in spring by trimming diseased, dead, or damaged stems. 

Clean up any winter damage using garden scissors or pruners to encourage new growth.

Step 3 - Trim runners/stems to control Ajuga’s spread.

To prevent Ajuga from overtaking a garden space, use sterilized pruners to remove wandering stems.

Step 4 - Trim spent flower stems during late summer. 

Use a pair of garden scissors or pruners to remove the entire bloom stem.

Ajuga Pruning Tips

  • Ajuga does not require deadheading.
  • Rejuvenate Ajuga during the spring to support good health.
  • Control Ajuga’s rapid growth by trimming stems/runners.
  • Trim spent blooms in late summer.

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Author Suellen Barnes - Published 11-21-2023