March 25, 2007
Ask Carolyn : Reader Question
From Bill : I love Ajuga, the purple-leaf, supposedly perennial groundcover and planted a lot of it last year. This year, it doesn't appear to be returning. What's going on ?
Dear Bill : Ajuga is a "tender " perennial in our area. I love it too, and it was happily growing in my garden for six years when one especially cold winter did it in. We had a very harsh winter this year and the freeze/thaw cycle makes it difficult for shallow- rooted groundcover to survive.
I'm afraid that I'm an optimist . I usually replace it if it doesn't come back because the deep purple-blue flowers are attractive and the purple-green foilage is effective for a long time.
This year, however, I'm going to be a little wiser and look for Ajuga that is hardy to Zone 4. Two varieties - 'Catlin's Giant ' ( twice the size and impact ) and ' Purple Torch ' are two that I will be buying.