Black Scallop bugleweed, winterkill?


My bugleweed is looking like it did not survive the winter. The attached picture shows the plant on April 6. As you can see many of the leaves are brown


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. Your Black Scallop bugleweed (Ajuga reptans ‘Binblasca’) is a showy, low-growing groundcover with, as you know, dark scalloped-edged foliage and spikes of blue-violet flowers. It has a trailing root system with stems that spread out over the soil. These stems root when they come in contact with the soil. It grows in most light conditions from full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil.   Bugleweed does not tolerate very wet soil and can experience crown rot in very wet, crowded conditions.

Bugleweed is generally hardy to Zone 4, but may suffer from winterkill in exposed areas. There was not a consistent snow cover throughout the past winter and there were many freeze/thaw cycles which can be hard on perennials.

It may be too early to tell if your bugleweed did not survive the winter. You may want to try gently raking to remove the brown leaves and wait until the weather warms up to see if the plant recovers. It appears from your photo that not all of the leaves have turned brown. This is a fairly fast growing, spreading plant and yours may easily have survived.

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