If you are looking for a low-maintenance, easy-to-grow, ground cover plant; the creeping jenny is an ideal option. This post provides useful information about propagating this ornamental creeper.
Due to its vigorous growth, the creeping jenny may turn invasive. So, ensure that you trim the trailing stems on a regular basis. The cultivar with golden foliage is less aggressive, and is not as invasive as the original species.
Otherwise known as the ‘moneywort plant’, the creeping jenny is native to certain parts of Europe. The name moneywort is derived from its round, coin-shaped leaves. The plant is also known as ‘herb twopence’ and ‘twopenny thot’. As the name rightly suggests, the creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a creeper, and belongs to the genus Lysimachia in the family Primulaceae. It is very popular as ground covers, trailing plants, and as fillers.
The Plant: The creeping jenny has limp, trailing stems, and opposite leaves with wavy edges. The green leaves are almost circular in shape, and are glossy and smooth. The leaves may have black dots, which can be seen if you take a closer look at them. The plant produces yellow, cup-shaped flowers on its leaf axils. The blooming period extends from early summer to fall.
The Cultivar: The cultivar named Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ is very popular for its lime-green leaves with a golden hue. The foliage color comes out best when the plant is grown in full sun. The yellow flowers are not very conspicuous, due to the golden foliage. Unlike the original species, the cultivar grows at a slow pace, and is not as invasive as the former. Seed formation is also sparse, so the plant does not spread very easily.
Creeping jenny foliage and flowers
Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’
Creeping Jenny Plant Propagation
The creeping jenny is a plant that produces seeds that can be used for its propagation. It is also a creeper that develops roots from the leaf nodes when they come into contact with the soil. Even stem cuttings can be used for propagating this plant. Given below are some guidelines about how to grow and propagate a creeping jenny.
Root Stem Cuttings
Stem cuttings can be rooted in soil, potting medium, or water. You can collect the cuttings during spring or early summer. The stem cuttings must have a length of around 3 to 5 inches. A sharp knife or shears can be used to cut the stem tips. Ensure that the cuts are made below the leaf nodes or buds. Before planting them, you have to remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cuttings.
A well-draining potting medium is ideal for growing these stem cuttings. A mixture of equal amounts of perlite and sand is ideal for this purpose. A small amount of sterile compost can also be added to this mixture. You have to fill the potting medium in a celled planting tray or small pot. The severed ends of the cuttings can be dusted with rooting hormone powder, before planting them. Once done, the pots or the tray have to be covered with plastic bags. You can use stakes to prevent the plastic touching the plant. They have to be kept in a location with bright, indirect light. The plants will develop roots within a week or two. It will take another 10 days for these plants to grow new leaves, so that you can transplant them. Ensure that you place them in indirect light for a few days, before shifting to a location with full sun. You can also root the stem cuttings in water. Make sure that you remove the leaves on the bottom half of the cuttings. Let the bottom ends remain immersed in water, so that roots develop quickly.
Grow the Seeds
Buy some seeds from the local nursery. You can also collect the seeds from your friends or neighbors who grow this plant. Keep in mind that the cultivar with golden leaves cannot be grown from seeds. The seeds can be sown outdoors during spring. You can sow the seeds in flats or trays filled with a suitable potting medium or topsoil. They have to be placed on the ground in a location with partial shade. You can cover the trays or flats with plastic covers. The soil or potting medium must be retained moist. It takes around a month or more for the seedlings to appear. You can transplant them when they start producing trails. In that case, it is advisable to leave a gap of around 30 centimeters between the plants. You can also place the seed trays on an indoor windowsill with partial sunlight.
Divide the Root Mass
Another method to propagate a creeping jenny is to divide the root ball. You can dig out the whole plant and divide them along with the roots. This can be done during the spring or autumn. As mentioned above, this creeper produces roots from those leaf nodes that are in touch with the soil. In that case, the best method is to pull out the trailing stems with roots and grow them as separate plants. This is the easiest way of propagating this plant.
Grown as a ground cover, in contrast with the cement stones on the garden pathway
Creeping jenny cascading over an ivy-covered wall.
To conclude, the creeping jenny is a low-maintenance plant that can be propagated without much efforts and costs. This plant can be easily grown in zones 3 to 9. Though they are not fussy, it is advisable to grow them in well-drained, moist, and fertile soil with a pH of 6 to 7.8. They grow well in full sun or partial shade, but exposure to full sun is best for bringing out the foliage color. Young plants need regular watering till they get established. The soil has to be retained moist (not soggy), for adult plants to grow and bloom well.
You can feed the plant using a balanced fertilizer once every spring. Pruning is very important, as the plant spreads rapidly and may turn invasive. Trim the trailing stems regularly. You can also pinch off the fading flowers if you want to prevent seed formation. In cooler regions, the plant may turn brown during winter, but it will grow again in spring. Avoid watering the plant during winters. This plant is susceptible to leaf spots, rust fungi, and slug infestation.