Creeping Jenny, also known as moneywort, is an evergreen perennial plant found in Europe that grows well in most of the United States. Its rounded yellow leaves look great along pathways, spilling over containers, along the banks of lakes and rivers. Creeping Jenny blooms with yellow flowers from late spring into summer, and, depending on the area, into early fall. Creeping Jenny is a groundcover plant, meaning it grows low to the ground and spreads outward.
The spot where creeping Jenny is planted must be chosen with care, as a single plant can grow up to two feet wide, laying roots as it spreads, and damaging the roots of neighboring plants. Beware though, as this beautiful plant, with leaf colors that can range from green to golden yellow, can grow out of control and become invasive.
While there are different species of this plant available, golden creeping Jenny (which is often referred as just golden Jenny) is the one with the lovely golden hue, the information given here applies to all species.
Due to its rapidly growing and invasive nature, creeping Jenny is considered harmful to native plants in some states. Please check before planting to make sure it in not banned in your area.
Growing Conditions for Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny is not a demanding plant when it comes to growing conditions. It does well in most environments, but it thrives best in moist but well-draining soil with a lot of nutrients that is rich with organic matter. Full sun is preferred by creeping Jenny, and sunshine shows off its colors the best, but this plant also thrives in partial shade.
If these conditions aren’t available, don’t worry. Creeping Jenny is a hardy plant that will take root anywhere enough water is provided. If planted in a hotter climate, this plant will need partial or even full shade, as the heat from the afternoon sun can cause blanched leaves and wilting.
How to Plant Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny can be grown in containers, inside or outside, or planted in large open areas outdoors. If you are starting from a seed, it is best to plant that seed in a container first, as this makes it easier to keep the seed and seedling moist.
It is best to transplant grown creeping Jenny, either from its container or when it is purchased from a nursery, in the early spring. This will allow the plant to take root enough that it will blossom in the summer.
When planting creeping Jenny, make sure to leave enough room between each plant—about 12 to 18 inches, so there is enough room for them to spread. Do not let newly planted creeping Jenny dry out for the first week after planting. If planted in a cool humid area, these plants need less watering than if they were planted in a hot, dry area. Make sure that the soil is kept moist when first planted so that it can take root.
Given the right conditions, creeping Jenny can grow and spread up to two feet very quickly. Make sure before planting that this plant is in an area where it will not harm others. If necessary, barriers, such as rocks, can be placed to keep this plant contained.
Care of Creeping Jenny
Once creeping Jenny is planted, there are no major care concerns. Pests are unlikely to bother this dense ground covering, and there are no major diseases that are known to affect this plant. It may develop rust or leaf spot, but these minor problems usually go away on their own. Because Creeping Jenny is plant that is in need of a lot of moisture, mold sometimes develops. If this is the case, water the plant from underneath, and give the leaves the ability to fully dry.
If planted in an area where slugs are an issue, all slug-concealing debris needs to be removed. Give the plants full sun and water from below to make this plant less habitable for these pests. If the slugs are being stubborn, scatter iron phosphate around the plant and along the slug trails. This nontoxic bait will get rid of the most persistent of slug infestations.
Don’t be afraid to prune, or trim back, creeping Jenny if it starts to grow where it does not belong. Due to its shallow roots, this plant is easy to pull if it starts to grow in an area where it is not supposed to. This is not a permanent solution, as this plant grows and recovers quickly. Make sure to remove any dead flowers. The blooms are how Creeping Jenny spreads its seeds, so it’s especially important to do this if the creeping Jenny is located next to an area where unwanted seedlings are not welcome.
If you are looking for a plant that’s easy to care for and hardy, creeping Jenny may be the answer. When planted in an area with enough moisture and humidity, creeping Jenny requires almost no help from the gardener to grow fabulously. If planted in a hotter and drier area, this plant will need constant watering, but it should still grow well if given enough shade.
Unfortunately, there are some considerations that must be taken into account before going out and purchasing this plant. Primarily, gardeners should know that sometimes, it grows a little too well. Creeping Jenny grows rapidly, and, if planted in area where it does not have enough room to spread, requires constant pruning and pulling to make sure it does not encroach where it is not wanted. Due to its invasive nature, creeping Jenny is banned in some areas, so make sure to check that it is allowed in your area before falling in love with its range of colors and cheerful yellow flowers.
The good news is that this plant grows well in containers, both inside and outside. So, if you are still interested in growing this gorgeous evergreen perennial but don’t have space in a yard, considering planting it in a pot. The yellow leaves look like a golden waterfall spilling over the sides, adding a splash of color wherever creeping Jenny is placed.
Abbie Carrier graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Science in history and a minor in political science, and is currently working on a Master’s of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. With this degree, she hopes to gain a position in museum curation and currently works as a grant writer for nonprofit organizations. She enjoys writing about the arts, history, and politics, and topics related to science, health, lifestyle, and entertainment.
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