The low-growing green or yellow-green foliage and bright yellow flowers make creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) a desirable ground cover in full sun and part shade locations in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10. While creeping Jenny cuttings are easy to root, the plant is considered invasive in several states. Confine creeping Jenny within hardscape borders or hanging baskets to keep it under control.
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About Creeping Jenny
A member of the primrose family (Primulaceae), creeping Jenny originated in Europe and Western Asia. At 2 to 4 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide, this shallow-rooted plant is often used as a groundcover. The bright yellow flowers appear along the trailing stems from early summer through fall. It grows best in moist soils where grass and other groundcovers falter.
While the plant is considered invasive, the golden creeping Jenny cultivar 'Aurea' is less vigorous than the green varieties. 'Aurea' leaves range from gold in full sun to lime green in shade and various shades between, depending on the amount of light it receives.
Propagate Creeping Jenny
Before you begin, put on gloves and safety goggles. Sterilize your cutting tools by dipping into Lysol to prevent the spread of pests from one plant to another.
Creeping Jenny produces roots at each node along the trailing vines. To encourage rooting in the garden, press the stems into the soil and keep evenly moist. After roots appear, carefully snip the stem from the parent plant and dig it up for transplanting elsewhere.
Alternately, take 4-to-6-inch creeping Jenny cuttings. Strip the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the stem before inserting at an angle into moist potting soil. Cover the cutting and pot with a plastic bag and place in a warm, bright location. When new leaves appear, remove the covering and transplant into a flowerpot or the garden.
Plant Creeping Jenny in the Garden
Prepare a sunny or partial shade location by digging in 2 to 4 inches of compost. Space the planting holes 12 to 18 inches apart and fill with water. Once the water has soaked into the soil, transplant the creeping Jenny. Add mulch around the plants to help slow evaporation from the soil.
If planting under a tree, dig small holes between the tree's roots to avoid disrupting its root system. Space the plants 18 to 24 inches or more apart; the plants will grow to cover the soil. Add a little compost if necessary to each planting hole. Plant the creeping Jenny at an angle, with the rooted nodes covered by soil or compost.
Whether planting in the garden, under trees or as a pond plant, use hardscape or a solid border to confine the plants. Edge regularly to keep the creeping Jenny within the space and prevent it from escaping into nearby meadows or wetlands. Also deadhead the flowers to prevent seeds from spreading outside of your garden.
Grow Creeping Jenny in Containers
Creeping Jenny is one of many suitable perennials for containers. Plant in a flowerpot or hanging basket to enjoy the trailing stems and flowers on the porch or under the trees. Use a planting mix intended for hanging baskets or mix your own by combining equal parts peat moss or coconut coir, compost and perlite. Moisten the mix thoroughly, then plant the rooted cuttings in the container.
Care of Creeping Jenny
Keep the soil evenly moist to encourage rapid growth and flowering. A thick layer of loose mulch around the plants will slow water evaporation as well as discourage weed growth as the plants spread over the soil. When planted under trees, consider installing a drip-watering system to provide water to the creeping Jenny plants' roots without drowning the tree's roots. Monitor hanging baskets and containers; in hot weather they may need daily watering.
After the first year, fertilize creeping Jenny with a slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring. Water thoroughly after fertilizing. When growing in containers, you can fertilize every two to four weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer from spring through fall.
Avoid wetting the leaves to help prevent fungal diseases. Hand-pick snails and slugs to prevent them from damaging the leaves and flowers.
- North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox: Lysimachia Nummularia
- MISIN Midwest Invasive Species Information Network: Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia)
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Fact Sheet: Creeping Jenny
- Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension: Golden Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'