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S & J Tree Farm and Nursery's Guide to Growing

Ajuga Catlins Giant

/ Carpet Bugle

( Ajuga reptans 'Catlins Giant' )

Ajuga is one of my favorite perennial plants for  the Northeast Florida garden. There are allot of different selections out there to choose from and the hardiness of them can vary greatly from one cultivar to the next.

I seem to be the type of gardener that once I decide I love a plant I just have to try every single one I run across! So I have field tested  ALLOT of Ajuga plants here in the Northeast Florida landscape over the last 20 or so years.

Catlins Giant may be my all time favorite for the Jacksonville/ St. Augustine area. It just seems to hold up better to our rainy seasons.   

Here is a few quick tips to make sure your new Catlins Giant Ajuga plants are as happy as they can be!



Preferred Exposure for Ajuga Catlins Giant:


- Partial sun locations in the Northeast Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscapes seem to do the best for all selections of Ajuga.


To be even more accommodating, try finding a location that blocks the hot afternoon sun off the foliage. Direct morning sun is ok in irrigated gardens as long as something, whether it be a tree, a building, shed or even a trellis keeps the afternoon sun off the plant. Avoid locations that receive afternoon sun or plant in a dappled shade location where nearby or overhead trees break up the hot sun during the day.



Catlins Giant Ajuga Foliage:


- Big bold foliage is what first attracted me to Catlins Giant. Here in Northeast Florida the foliage remains evergreen throughout the winter and you can enjoy the colorful leaves all year round!



 Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:


-  Ajuga will need good drainage to grow here in our high rainfall subtropical climate zones.


 Be sure to amend the soil with a good quality compost, no heavy top soil or water retention potting mixes. We are looking for excellent drainage for Ajuga plants so sandy soil with some good quality (light and airy) compost mixed in is ideal. I like to use the composted cotton from Farmer's Organic.  


- Salt tolerance unknown


Mature Size Variance:


- All Ajuga plants would fall under the groundcover category. Caitlins Giant may have big bold beautiful leaves but it still remains at a compact height most often around 6 inches or so in the garden. Expect Catlins giant to spread out to a width of 12-24 inches.



Blooms of the Catlins Giant Ajuga plant:


- Blooms during late spring are held just above the foliage and will blanket the plant with bright purple - blue flower spikes. These plants are pretty enough to me when they are not in bloom but quite stunning while blooming and don't forget those blooms are butterfly attracting so that is an added bonus!



Water Requirements:


- Moderate water once established into the landcapes.



Butterfly or Bird Attracting:


- Butterflies!



Care of Ajuga Catlins Giant in the Northeast Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape:



- Ajuga plants may be dug and divided every 2 years to make additional plants to locate in other areas of the garden, or to fill in any bare spots that may have developed.


- Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a nursery container.


- Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food or 10-10-10.