Carpet Bugle Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor' (v)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
bugle 'Multicolor'


Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor', also known as carpet bugle, is a striking perennial ground cover distinguished by its vibrant foliage and decorative flowers. The leaves of the 'Multicolor' variety are particularly appealing, boasting a kaleidoscope of colors that can include shades of green, cream, pink, and purple. This variegated effect adds a splash of color to any garden setting, making it a popular choice among gardeners who seek to create a visually engaging landscape. The carpet bugle's leaves are typically oval to oblong in shape and have a somewhat glossy appearance. The variegation patterns can create a marbled or mottled look on the foliage, which can intensify under the right growing conditions. In spring and into early summer, the plant produces spikes of flowers that rise slightly above the foliage. These flowers are usually blue or purplish-blue, contrasting beautifully with the multi-colored leaves. The flowers are tubular, arranged in whorls along the upright spikes, a characteristic that adds vertical interest to the otherwise low-growing carpet-like mat of leaves. This combination of eye-catching foliage and colorful flowers makes the Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor' a desirable addition to garden borders, rockeries, or as a filler within mixed container plantings, offering both ground cover and aesthetic appeal.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Carpet Bugle, Bugleherb, Ground Pine, Carpenter's Herb, Common Bugle, Multicolor Bugleweed, Variegated Bugle.

    • Common names

      Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor' (v).

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Carpet Bugle is generally considered non-toxic to humans. However, it is always advisable not to ingest any plant material that is not confirmed to be safe for consumption. Ingesting ornamental plants can sometimes cause mild stomach upset or an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals, but there are no widespread reports of significant poisoning from Carpet Bugle.

    • To pets

      Carpet Bugle is not known to be toxic to pets. However, as with any non-food plant, ingestion can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, if pets consume large quantities. If you suspect your pet has eaten a large amount of this plant and is showing signs of illness, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: Features colorful foliage that adds visual interest to garden spaces throughout the growing season.
    • Ground Cover: Produces a dense mat that can help suppress weeds and cover bare spots in the landscape.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dryness, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Blooms attract bees and butterflies, contributing to the health of the local ecosystem.
    • Shade Tolerance: Flourishes in a variety of light conditions, including shady areas where other plants might struggle.
    • Soil Adaptability: Adapts to a range of soil types, though it prefers well-drained conditions.
    • Resilience: Has a tough nature and can often recover from environmental stress and damage.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Wound Healing: Ajuga reptans has been used in traditional medicine to help with the healing of wounds.
    • Anti-inflammatory: It has properties that may reduce inflammation when applied to the skin.
    • Antioxidant: The plant contains compounds that are believed to have antioxidant effects.
    Please consult with a healthcare professional before using Ajuga reptans for medicinal purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ajuga reptans, commonly referred to as bugleweed, can be used as a natural dye, providing a range of colors to fabrics from its leaves and flowers.
    • In some traditions, bugleweed has been used as a protective herb, with people planting it around homes to ward off negative energy.
    • Due to its dense mat-forming habit, bugleweed can be used to stabilize soil on slopes or banks, preventing erosion effectively.
    • Its attractive foliage offers a living mulch alternative, which helps retain soil moisture and temperature while suppressing weed growth.
    • Bugleweed's low-growing nature makes it an ideal candidate for creating intricate garden patterns and knot gardens.
    • Its colorful leaves can be utilized in crafts, such as pressed flower projects or in creating natural decorative displays.
    • When planting in containers, bugleweed can spill attractively over the sides, making it a useful "spiller" in the "thriller, filler, spiller" container gardening concept.
    • Transplanted bugleweed cuttings can be used as a natural, living gift, promoting the sharing of garden favorites between enthusiasts.
    • Photographers and artists may find bugleweed a compelling subject for capturing patterns and colors in nature through various mediums.
    • Some culinary enthusiasts experiment with the flowers of bugleweed, using them to garnish salads and desserts, although this is not a common use and should only be tried with proper knowledge and caution regarding edibility.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Carpet Bugle is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Carpet Bugle is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Tenacity: Commonly known as Carpet Bugle, Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor' is a symbol of tenacity due to its ability to spread and thrive even in tough conditions.
    • Consistency: Its consistent growth and evergreen nature stand for reliability and steadiness in one's life.
    • Protection: Carpet Bugle is also associated with protection as it forms dense mats that can protect the soil from erosion.
    • Healing: Historically, Ajuga was used in herbal medicine, thus symbolizing healing and the alleviation of ailments.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Carpet Bugle should be watered thoroughly and consistently, with more frequency during the warmer months or if it is in a particularly hot, sunny spot. Ideally, it should receive at least 1 inch of water per week, especially when newly planted to establish a strong root system. Once established, this plant is quite drought-tolerant, so watering can be reduced, ensuring the top inch of soil has dried out before the next watering to prevent root rot. During rainy seasons or cooler months, reduce watering to prevent waterlogging.

  • sunLight

    Carpet Bugle thrives best in partial shade to full shade conditions, though it can tolerate some morning sun with afternoon shade. The best spot for this groundcover is beneath trees or in shaded areas where it receives filtered or dappled sunlight. However, avoid deep, dense shade as it may affect the vibrancy of its foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Carpet Bugle is hardy and tolerates a wide range of temperatures, thriving ideally between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive minimum temperatures down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate highs up to around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making it suitable for many temperate climates. The ideal conditions are moderate temperatures with good air circulation.

  • scissorsPruning

    Carpet Bugle benefits from occasional pruning to maintain its shape, control spread, and encourage denser foliage. Prune or pinch back the tips of the plants in early spring to promote bushier growth. Additionally, after the plant has flowered, deadheading the spent flower spikes can help to stimulate a second flush of growth and will also prevent any unwanted self-seeding, if maintenance of plant size is a concern.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Carpet Bugle thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a pH range of 3.7 to 6.5. A good mix for this plant would include garden soil, compost, and a small amount of coarse sand or perlite to improve drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    Carpet Bugle is a ground cover that spreads through runners and typically does not require frequent repotting. It may seldom need repotting unless it is grown in a container, in which case it can be done every 2-3 years to refresh the soil.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Carpet Bugle prefers moderate humidity levels but is adaptable to various conditions. As long as the plant is not in a completely arid environment, it typically fares well without specific humidity requirements.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and water when topsoil is dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade and well-draining soil; water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor', commonly known as Carpet Bugleweed, begins its life cycle as a seed, often germinating in early spring when soil temperatures rise. Seedlings emerge and establish a rosette of leaves close to the ground, favoring cool, moist conditions. As it matures, the plant spreads vegetatively using stolons, or runners, that root at nodes to form new clumps, effectively creating a carpet-like ground cover. In late spring to early summer, it sends up flower spikes with small, blue to violet flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinators. Following pollination, seeds develop and are dispersed nearby, perpetuating the cycle. During winter, the plant's foliage may remain evergreen, contributing to its robustness throughout its perennial life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans 'Multicolor') is most commonly propagated through division, which is an effective way to multiply this ground cover and can be done in the spring or early fall. To propagate by division, you gently dig up a healthy, established plant and carefully separate it into smaller sections, each with a portion of roots and shoots. These sections are then replanted into prepared soil at the same depth they were previously growing and watered thoroughly. Divisions should be spaced about 12 inches (approximately 30 centimeters) apart to give them ample space to grow. It's crucial to keep the newly planted divisions well-watered until they are established, but be careful not to overwater, as bugleweed prefers well-draining soil and is prone to rot in soggy conditions.