Ajuga die off?

rober49(5 St Louis)September 3, 2011

I have a patch of Ajuga that is dieing. last fall & this spring it looked like it was hell bent on world domination. it even covered 18" of my concrete driveway. i trimmed that off & transplanted it. about a month ago a 6" circle died off. since then it's begun to spread. it's had adequate but not too much water. 2 other patches are doing fine. any ideas??

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

with extended heat waves.. and drouhgt.. i have a lot of things that look like they are dying ... so what ...

no clue what to tell you.. as you have given no information other than they LOOK like they are dying ...

where are you
this summers weather
under what tree of plants

any pertinent info would help us.. help you ..

also.. explain this: it's had adequate but not too much water. ===>>> if they are going dormant due to drought.. speculating .. how is the water adequate???

and.. what did you find when you dug up the dead circle???


    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 11:52AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

My Ajugas seem to do this periodically, both 'Chocolate Chip' and the tri-colored one whose name escapes me just now. I just ignore it, and they fill out again the following year.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 6:45AM
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nancyd(5/Rochester, NY)

I undertand what you're saying. For me this is typical of ajua. I've never had luck with it long-term. Not particularly hardy. Mine have died off as well and didn't come back. People like to call this an invasive plant, but it's not for me. The plant dies back over winter and it's slow to come back in spring. I prefer other types of groundcover that are hardier in my zone. I can't tell where you're located but you might have the same issues. See what happens next spring. It was a tough year for plants.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:05AM
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rober49(5 St Louis)

it does not look like it is dieing, it is dead. i'm in st louis mo. we did have a bad heat wave & a partial drought but i did water regularly. i have had areas where i had no luck growing ajuga & other ares where it became invasive. this patch was invasive. it did not brown out this past winter. it shrank & shriveled but retained it's color. by adequate water i mean enough to keep things alive & not enough to rot roots. everything else in this bed ( cosmos, spireas, creeping phlox, blackberry lilies, & day lilies ) are fine. it could be the severe summer. my vegetable patch was terrible this year.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 6:31PM
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It could be crown rot from Southern Blight, caused by the fungus Sclerotium rolfsii. Sclerotium develops during hot weather when the soil surface is moist and it will start in one small patch and works its way out. The base will die and the plants can be easily pulled out at soil level. Look carefully and you can often see little mustard seed looking spores but if it is in some sun then the fungus sometimes dries up quickly after the ajuga dies off and you might not notice it as easily as you would with hostas or other plants.

This is a very common and one of the only real problems with ajuga. Spraying with a fungicide to control Southern Blight is highly recommended to stop it. To prevent it in the future it is best to not water when temps get above 90 though a preventive fungicide spray next summer is also a good idea. The combination of heat and moisture triggers the dormant spores so spray now and again next summer before it gets hot. Ajuga can come back from drought but not from this fungus.

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 12:17PM
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