The creeping bugle, often called garden bugle, belongs to the Ajuga genus, of which there are numerous species. In our latitudes, however, only 4 species can be found. The distribution area of ​​the crawling Günsel ranges from Europe to North Africa and Asia. The preferred region is the Alps, but it can also be found in the lowlands, especially in forests and on the edges of forests. The perennial plant is evergreen and covers the ground. The height of the plant is between ten and thirty centimeters. In good conditions, it can also be forty centimeters.

planting in spring

It is best to plant the cuttings of the perennial perennial in spring. In principle, you can plant the creeping bugle all year round, but the conditions are best in spring. At first you should make sure that you water it sufficiently but not too much, because the plant doesn’t like standing in water. The optimal planting density is 12 plants per square meter. As it is an excellent groundcover , it is often planted under the stems so that there is no room for weeds.

  • Planting cuttings in spring
  • Planting density: 12-15 plants per square meter
  • Plant spacing: 25 centimeters
  • Soil: normally permeable, pH neutral


If the Günsel grows in the garden, you only have to take care of it a little. It can stand in one place for several years without having to change the floor. However, you can also transplant it very easily and uncomplicatedly. If the Günsel is planted in tubs or balcony boxes, it should be transplanted every year and the potting soil replaced so that the plants are supplied with sufficient nutrients. The best time for transplanting is spring.

Hardly any maintenance required

So that the creeping bugle can thrive, you should enrich the soil with some humus and then keep it evenly moist. If the soil on which the plant is to be planted is not of good quality, this can be increased by adding a little potting or potting compost, which can be mixed in when planting. It also helps if some clay or sand is mixed in.
Caring for the crawling bugle is easy. After planting, you hardly have to take care of the plant, because it grows without fertilizer and care. However, it is recommended that you cut off the shoots in between, as the plants spread really quickly.

  • maintenance extensive
  • loose soil
  • possible: Enrichment of the soil with humus, clay or sand
  • Recommendation: contain the spread

The crawling bugle prefers sunny weather

In principle, the plant can be planted in a sunny to partially shaded place. Locations with scattered shadows are best suited. The single-color varieties in particular are flexible here. Some multicolored varieties prefer sunny places, while some prefer semi-shady places. The corresponding recommendations should be strictly followed, because the lighting conditions have a significant influence on the coloring of the leaves. In addition, the soil must not be too damp, but should dry quickly.

watering and fertilizing

When it is dry, the creeping bugle needs to be watered, but avoid waterlogging. In this he withers relatively quickly and dies. If the Günsel is in the shade, you should therefore only water very carefully.

If you like, you can water it with pond water or use compost, which contains all the nutrients. Bone meal is also a very nutrient-rich fertilizer. Horn shavings can also be worked into the soil in spring to make the soil more fertile. However, this is not absolutely necessary. The plant also develops splendidly in normal soil and with simple watering.

  • Water only when dry
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • Fertilizer not necessary
  • possibly watering with pond water
  • possible: Enrichment of the soil with bone meal or horn shavings

To cut

You don’t necessarily need to prune the plant for it to develop optimally. You should only be careful to remove the runners and limit the plant so that the plant cannot spread uncontrollably. When removing the runners, you should make sure that you remove the roots as well. All you have to do is dig out the plant with a knife, because the roots of the creeping bugle don’t go particularly deep into the ground, so you can easily remove them.


The plants of the creeping bugle are quite hardy. They are also hardy so you can leave them in their location year round. You also don’t have to worry about additional protection for the winter. There is no need to cover the plants for the winter.

Propagation in spring or autumn

If you want to propagate the plant, you can do it in two ways. On the one hand, Ajuga plants can be propagated by cuttings. On the other hand, they also multiply themselves by offshoots. This can even go quite quickly and dense carpets are formed. This can become very annoying when the bugle is spreading on a lawn.

In autumn or spring, the plant can also simply be divided for propagation purposes. Care should only be taken to ensure that the plants are replanted exactly as deep as they were before. Until the plants are established, they should be watered regularly.

  • Propagation by cuttings
  • Self-propagation by runners

containment and removal from the lawn

The creeping bugle spreads very quickly in the garden through foothills and can thus also harass neighboring plants or overgrow other ground-covering plants. When planting, you should therefore make sure that you combine it with higher perennials or stems that are not affected by the creeping bugle.

The plant also does extremely well on a lawn, much to the chagrin of gardeners, although it is definitely not wanted here. It is important that the growing area is limited. Otherwise it can be quite difficult for you to remove the crawling bugle from your garden.

  • Prevention: Do not mow the lawn too low (summer not less than 4 cm)
  • single plants: cut out several times because the roots are flat
  • Carpet: chemical control with proper herbicide
  • important: reseed bare spots

Different varieties

If you want to provide some variety, you can combine different varieties of creeping bugle and create a beautiful carpet of plants. A very beautiful variety is also the red-leaved bugle with the botanical name Ajuga Reptans “altropurpurea”. The flower color is blue like the green-leaved bugle. In terms of cultivation and care, this variety also does not differ from the green-leaved Günsel.

Multicolored Leaves
The Ajuga Reptans “Burguny Glow”, the multicolored bugle, is also very nice to look at. The leaves of this plant are tricolored. They are green, white and pink and offer a great play of colors in a rock garden. The flower of the plant is blue to violet. There is also nothing special to consider when it comes to maintenance.

The variety Ajuga Reptans “Variegata” is also multicolored. In order for these colors to develop, the plant must be in partial shade. The plant is therefore ideal as a ground cover for semi-shady and damp places where other bug plants do not do so well and tend to die. Due to the location, this species of bugle grows more slowly.

Big leaves
If you prefer big leaves, you should fall back on the Ajuga Reptans “Catlin’s Giant”. The leaves of this plant are large, dark green and very glossy. The flower color is blue. In contrast to the small-leaved Günsel, this Günsel prefers a semi-shady location. Otherwise, this plant hardly needs to be cared for. However, it spreads just as quickly and needs to be contained regularly.

Accents in white
The Günsel is not only available in different leaf colours, but also in different flower colours. In this way, gardeners can consciously set accents. The plant of the Ajuga Reptans “Riesmöve” is a white-flowered bugle that flowers mainly in spring. Caring for the plant is not much different from simple Günsel. However, you should make sure that you water the white bugle more often, because it has an increased water requirement. However, it also applies to this plant that standing water should be avoided in any case.

Pink flowers
The Günsel is also available in pink flowers. The plant of the Ajuga Reptanz “Purple Torch” offers this. The leaves of the plant are green to brownish. It is treated the same as the common bugle.

diseases and pests

Pests and diseases are not known to creeping Günsel. It is extremely robust and very hard-wearing. There is also no danger of snail damage with this plant. Only in the case of prolonged drought can the plants be susceptible to powdery mildew or aphids.

The Günsel is the perfect ground cover because it grows quickly and requires little care. Not only in rock gardens, but also under half trunks, it ensures that no weeds can get through. However, it should be checked and contained regularly so that it does not spread uncontrollably in the garden. Since the plant is very easy to care for, it is also very suitable for beginners and children, because it is unlikely that the plant will die.

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