How to Grow Creeping Jenny

creeping jenny growing in a hanging pot

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Creeping Jenny is a perennial with bright, small yellow flowers. Though the blooms won't last long, they are pretty. For that reason, this low-growing "creeper" is best grown for its foliage, which makes an excellent ground cover.

Golden creeping Jenny is also called moneywort because the leaves are shaped like tiny coins. It is a member of the family ​Primulaceae and is hardy in United States Department of Agriculture zones 4–9.  It is often confused with creeping Charlie, another invasive yard plant. Although the foliage is similar, creeping Charlie has small purple flowers rather than the yellow found in creeping Jenny.

Creeping Jenny is often thought of as a nuisance in the yard because of how well it spreads. It's one of those plants that straddles the line between obnoxious invasive and beautiful ornamental. Plant it in the spring, and watch its greenery!

Though it can quickly take over a large part of your garden, this fast-growing plant is also incredibly easy to grow and adds color and a softening of any hard edges wherever it's planted. For these reasons, you might consider planting creeping Jenny in containers where it can become an elegant, sweeping plant that hangs over the edge of pots and doesn't threaten your yard.

2:18

Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for Creeping Jenny (Aurea)

closeup of creeping jenny showing new growth
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
coin-like foliage of creeping jenny
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
trailing foliage of creeping jenny
The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  Botanical Name Lysimachia nummularia
  Common Name Creeping Jenny, moneywort, herb twopence, twopenny grass
  Plant Type Evergreen ground cover
  Mature Size 2-4 in. tall, 12-18 in. wide
  Sun Exposure Full sun
  Soil Type Well-draining sandy, loamy, or clay
  Soil pH Acid, alkaline, neutral
  Bloom Time Summer
  Flower Color Yellow
  Hardiness Zones 4-9 (USDA)
  Native Area Western Asia, and Europe
  Toxicity Non-toxic to animals and humans

Creeping Jenny Care

Creeping Jenny is considered to be an invasive plant in some places and may not be available at your local nurseries. However, the golden or "Auria" varieties are not as invasive as the green.

Even if you plant it in containers and keep them away from the yard, be careful when dumping out your pots at the end of the season. It can quickly establish itself and grow like wildfire. In fact, it's not uncommon for the seeds of this determined plant to sneak out of a container and reach the lawn, where they will root and spread.

If you take care with your creeping Jenny, you can overcome the plant's bad reputation. It really is a lovely ornamental. The main problem most people have with creeping Jenny is that it spreads. If you plant it in the garden, it can quickly take over a spot if it's not kept under control. However, if your soil is on the drier side, that will impede some of its growth.

Use creeping Jenny as a spiller plant in pots and hanging baskets. Pair it with taller plants that it won't smother rather than small low-growers. When designing your containers, creeping Jenny's foliage colors will contrast well with dark green foliage and brightly colored flowers.

Light

Creeping Jenny will thrive best in full sun to partial shade. The leaves will be a different color based on the plant's sun exposure: golden yellow in full sun and chartreuse green in partial shade. In hot climates, afternoon sun may cause its leaves to blanch.

Soil

Creeping Jenny prefers moist, well-draining soils and can even be found along riverbanks where the soil is very wet.

Water

Since moist, damp soil is what your creeping Jenny needs to thrive, water regularly and don't let the soil dry out.

Temperature and Humidity

Since creeping Jenny is a perennial in USDA zones 4-9, it's hardy enough to survive a cold winter and will return in the spring.

Fertilizer

Once your creeping Jenny is established, it can be lightly fertilized with a 10-10-10 solution in early spring.

Pruning

Trim back the dead stems of your creeping Jenny before winter hits, and it will come back in the spring with ease.

Propagating Creeping Jenny


Due to its resilience, creeping Jenny is easy to propagate. The plant naturally spreads by both seeds and rhizomes and can be rooted in water easily. The easiest way to establish new plants is to dig up a portion of an established patch, separate it, and plant it in new soil.

Potting and Repotting Creeping Jenny


Creeping Jenny is great in container gardens; its tendrils hang so gracefully off the edge of the pots! It's best to plant it with other, taller plants so there's a contrast between the two.

Common Pests/Diseases

Creeping Jenny doesn't usually have problems with pests or diseases, but if it's located in rainy environment, it may fall prey to fungal diseases like botrytis blight and phyllosticta leaf spot. Both can be treated with liquid copper fungicides.