Lysimachia nummularia commonly referred to as creeping Jenny is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae. It’s most often grown as an evergreen ground cover in United States. Creeping Jenny spreads naturally with arrowhead-shaped lime-green to medium-green leaves and trumpet-shaped small yellow flowers in spring or summer.
The plant grows aggressively, often crowding out other plants. It produces long stems that root anywhere the leaf nodes touch the ground. The plant only grows to about 6 inches tall but spreads quickly underground. In some parts of Europe, Asia and United States, it is considered invasive. This plant is difficult to kill, even with tough winter weather, a factor that constitutes a bigger challenge, when controlling it, so that it does not add unnecessary stress to your other perennials in the garden.
Creeping Jenny goes by a number of names, including perennial morning glory, wild morning glory, sheepbine, bindweed, bellbine, twopenny grass, herb twopence and cornbind.
|Other Names||Moneywort or Lysimachia, twopenny grass, herb twopence|
|Scientific Name||Lysimachia nummularia|
|Light Requirement||Full sun to partial shade|
|Soil Type||Moist but well drained|
|Height||More than 4 inches|
|Bloom Time||Spring or summer|
|Plant Use||Ground cover|
|Spacing||1 feet apart|
|Propagation||Seeds and rhizomes|
|Design Ideas||Spiller plant in pots and hanging baskets|
How To Grow And Care For Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny is a versatile plant that’s easily adaptable to most light conditions from full sun to partial shade, however it performs better when grown in a location that receives at least four hours of daily sunlight per day, though an area that receives six hours or more of sunlight a day is ideal. However, the plant may require some shade during hot summers. When grown in a low-light area, creeping Jenny’s foliage may develop a yellow-green color that blends with its yellow flowers when it blooms.
Creeping jenny grows in nearly any type of soil type but thrives in well-drained soil such as loam or sandy soil, that’s rich with organic matter. When growing creeping Jenny in a container amending the soil with organic matter such as leaf mold, sphagnum, peat moss or compost is an ideal thing to do as this will enrich the soil nutrients content for effective growth of the plant.
Creeping Jenny grows best when the soil is in a PH range of between 6.0 and 6.8. Test the soil’s PH level using a Soil PH Kit purchased from a garden supply store or have the soil tested commercially. Adjust soil PH level if need, using dolomitic limestone to raise the PH or sulfur to lower the PH, according to test results.
For optimum growth of creeping Jenny, soil temperature should be between 18-20oC and the minimum should be between 12-14oC.
Begin watering the creeping jenny immediately after planting. If you’re gardening in a cool, humid coastal area, your plants need less water than those growing in hot, dry inland locations. Keep the soil evenly and continuously moist but not muddy/soaked throughout the growing season. Therefore, avoid overhead watering and water the plant in the morning so that the foliage can dry quickly. Night watering may cause pooling that can lead to root problems.
Water the creeping jenny once a week, supplying approximately 1 inch water or enough to moisten the soil to a 6-inch depth. Increase watering to twice weekly in the summer during dry periods if the soil dries more quickly between watering.
Feed the creeping jenny in the early stages of the growing cycle with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Mix water-soluble fertilizer according to the container directions and then wet the soil with this fertilizer. If you are using a slow-release, all purpose granulated fertilizer, lightly scatter the mixture on the soil around and then slowly drench the soil with water so that nutrients can soak into the soil. Fertilize carefully as too much fertilizer can cause an over abundance of week undergrowth.
Creeping jenny may become stressed if temperatures are extreme. Ideally, creeping jenny prefers temperatures of 55 to 75oF (Degrees Fahrenheit). Always plant creeping Jenny in the mid-fall or early spring after frost danger has passed.
Creeping Jenny is a plant that requires relatively high humidity due to the number of leaves it has. The optimum relative humidity during the day is 60-70% and at night between 70-90%. However, in places where humidity level is above 90% and with a saturated steam atmosphere, the plant leaves may suffer fungal diseases.
Pull weeds that grow in the creeping jenny container if any, immediately before they establish themselves. Weeds divert water and nutrients from the creeping jenny plant and they may also spread pests or disease organisms to the plant. Cover the bed with a 2-inch layer of mulch, such as bark chips or dry grass clippings, around the plant. Mulch moderates soil temperature while conserving moisture and helps prevent the growth of weeds.
Pests And Diseases
Being a fast growing plant with an invasive nature typically has no serious disease concerns but can still come under attack from a few fungal pathogens. Creeping jenny can somewhat become under the attack of fungal diseases such as botrytis blight, Southern blight or Phyllostica leaf spot which can develop when leaves are wet for long periods.
Also, monitor the creeping Jenny for pests such as thrips, Aphids and other house plant insects, which feed on the foliage and turn leaves and stems gray. Spray affected plants with a premixed insecticidal soap. Reapply the spray every three days until insect pests are eradicated. Controlling pests and watering properly prevents most disease problems.
Deadheading And Pruning
Whether grown indoors or outdoors, when the perennial creeping Jenny is grown in the soil with high level of nutrients and good lighting conditions, it typically becomes invasive, with stems rooting where they touch soil. Its trailing stems can become quite long, potentially becoming hard to manage. The best way to deal with any invasive plant is to prune back stems that wander too far from the container, cutting them with a sharp pruning shears. It is always a good practice to trim the plant during late winter, just before the plant is ready to put out new spring growth.
Pinch off (deadhead) faded flowers to prevent the plant from setting seeds. This is especially important if creeping jenny is growing as an edging adjacent to a lawn where unwanted seedlings might sprout.
Propagation Of Creeping Jenny (Seeds & Stem Cutting)
From Stem Cutting
Stem cutting remains to be the best and easiest way of propagating Creeping jenny. Cuttings can be rooted anytime that the plant is actively growing. Unlike propagating by seeds collected from the parent plant, propagating by cuttings ensures that the new plant is genetically identical to the parent plant. Also a high percentage of the cuttings root and they do so quickly. To propagate Creeping Jenny from stem cutting, just place the stem cuttings in water or onto a growing medium until they develops roots and then plant the rooted cuttings into pots or ground.
- To propagate creeping Jenny by seeds, collect the seeds from dried seedheads and then soak the seeds overnight.
- Get a good seed tray with sufficient drainage holes at the bottom. Fill each section/cell of seed tray with a seed starting mix.
- Seed starting mix is a sterile alternative to potting soil that will help promote germination of the seeds.
- Water the seed starting mix sparingly, do not overwater the mix.
- Poke ¼ inch (6.4mm) deep holes in each section/cell with your finger.
- Plant at least 2 seeds in each hole and then cover each hole with a seed starter mix.
- Cover the seed tray in a plastic wrap and place them in a warm dark area. Move the tray to a sunlit area once seedlings sprout and uncover them.
Also Read: Care and Growing Guide For Calathea Zebrina
Growing Creeping Jenny In A Pot/Container
When grown in pots or container, Creeping Jenny makes an excellent house plant or patio plants. When grown in a pot/container whether indoors or outdoors, the plant’s stems creep and trail over the edges of its pots, making it suitable to planting in hanging basket or pot. Creeping Jenny also grows effectively in a standing container kept on a shelf or other support, where its greenery can cascade down to produce the effect of a green, indoor waterfall. To grow creeping jenny effectively in a container/pot, observe the following:
- Select a relatively large size container with sufficient drainage holes at the bottom.
- Amend garden soil with perlite, peat moss and organic matter such as compost or leaf mold. Alternatively, you can use ‘’potting soil’’ or ‘’soilless mixes’’ to plant your creeping jenny. Potting soil contains sterilized soil and other ingredients whereas soilless mixes consists of peat moss or peat substitutes, compost and perlite or vermiculite to keep it loose.
- Fill the container with the amended soil mixture and then water it thoroughly and leave it to stay overnight, essentially to drain properly.
- Make at least two holes in the container. The holes should be at least two inches deep and 6 inches apart.
- Plant your seedlings or stem cutting in these holes and cover the holes with the amended soil, potting mix or soilless mix. When planting stem cuttings, ensure to place the severed end of the creeping jenny cutting into the hole.
- Make it a routine of watering the plant at least twice a week.
- After 6-8 weeks of planting, begin feeding the plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer at least twice a month.