Is Creeping Jenny A Good Ground Cover?

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Choosing the best ground cover to suit your garden or yard can be overwhelming, mainly because numerous options exist. Among them is the creeping Jenny. This plant is popular as it thrives in diverse settings.

Creeping Jenny is effortlessly versatile and beautiful, but is it a good ground cover? This piece delves into this topic in detail, including its pros and cons and the best spots to grow it to cover the ground.

What Is Creeping Jenny?

is creeping jenny a good ground cover

Creeping Jenny or moneywort is scientifically known as Lysimachia nummularia. It is an evergreen perennial native to Western Asia and Europe but also grows in many regions, including North America.

Creeping Jenny is popular in gardening and landscaping applications, often grown in hanging baskets, containers, rock gardens, and as a groundcover. This plant has a few varieties; notable ones are

  • Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (Golden Creeping Jenny)
  • Lysimachia nummularia ‘Green’ (Standard Creeping Jenny)
  • Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’
  • Lysimachia nummularia ‘Gold Clusters’

Physical Attributes

Creeping Jenny has a distinct appearance, making it easily recognizable. Its key physical characteristics are:


This perennial groundcover has small (1-2 inches in diameter) rounded leaves. They are arranged in pairs along the stems and are bright green to golden yellow, depending on the variety. The golden variety, Lysimachia nummularia’ Aurea,’ is trendy for its striking hue.

Creeping Jenny’s leaves can stay evergreen throughout the year.

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Creeping Jenny has long, slender stems that grow horizontally along the ground, rooting at nodes as they spread. This creeping growth habit allows the plant to form dense mats.


Creeping Jenny bears tiny, bright yellow flowers in late spring to early summer. While not particularly showy, these flowers make the plant more charming.

Growth Habits

Creeping Jenny grows exceptionally fast and spreads rapidly, typically growing to 2 to 4 inches high and 12-18 inches wide, forming a mat. It can quickly fill in bare patches of soil and suppress weeds. Creeping Jenny thrives in various soil conditions but prefers moist, well-drained soils.

In addition, it can tolerate full sun to partial shade, although the foliage color is often more vibrant in sunnier locations.

Is Creeping Jenny A Good Ground Cover?

is creeping jenny a good ground cover for grass

Creeping Jenny is an excellent ground cover, especially if you want a fast-growing, forgiving plant. It creates a dense, lush foliage mat that covers the ground beautifully.

This perennial is also quite adaptable, meaning you can grow it in shady areas or in full sun. Furthermore, it performs particularly well in damp areas, such as around ponds, in rain gardens, or along stream banks.

Besides providing an aesthetically appealing ground cover, it also outcompetes weeds for space and light, thus suppressing them. This plant will retain its color and vibrancy all year round in mild climates. On the other hand, the leaves turn brown in some regions in fall, providing some seasonal variation.

Pros And Cons Of Creeping Jenny As A Ground Cover

The popularity of creeping Jenny as a groundcover lies in its vibrant foliage, rapid growth, and low-maintenance nature. However, you cannot solely focus on the benefits without considering its drawbacks.

So, let’s explore its pros and cons as a groundcover to understand whether the good outweighs the bad.


1. Attractive Appearance

This gorgeous plant gives landscapes a pop of color and vibrancy due to its bright green to golden yellow, attractive, rounded leaves. In addition, its small, bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers give off a subtly charming appearance in late spring to early summer.

Moreover, depending on the variety, this plant can turn a striking shade of bronze or gold for a change of color palette to your outdoor spaces in the fall.

Additionally, creeping Jenny’s smooth, rounded leaves contrast nicely with other differently textured plants. These include spiky grasses or finely divided foliage, enhancing the visual interest in mixed plantings.

2. Rapid Growth and Coverage

This is arguably the primary reason why creeping Jenny makes impeccable groundcover. This prolific spreader grows horizontally along the ground, with stems that root at the nodes, covering large areas quickly. Also, its foliage forms dense mats, thus covering and stabilizing the soil.

Creeping Jenny provides an immediate solution for gardeners looking to establish ground cover quickly. Within a single growing season, this plant can cover a significant area of your garden.

3. Weed Suppression

Creeping Jenny’s mat isn’t just for show. On the contrary, it’s a natural weed suppressor. As it covers your garden, it creates an environment that’s unconducive to weed growth. Therefore, you won’t need to battle weeds regularly.

4. Low Maintenance

Creeping Jenny doesn’t demand much of your attention. It will happily grow in various soil types provided they are well-drained, hence reducing the need for soil amendments or specialized treatments.

Water it regularly during the planting stage to encourage strong roots, and once it is established, occasional water will suffice. Established creeping Jenny can tolerate some neglect.

Moreover, creeping Jenny isn’t picky regarding light- bright sunlight to dappled shade is suitable.

5. Natural Resilience

While creeping Jenny can occasionally attract aphids or slugs, this plant is generally resistant to many common garden pests and diseases. Any issues that arise are typically minor and can be managed with simple, organic solutions such as neem oil or hand-picking pests.

6. Soil Erosion Control

As a groundcover, creeping Jenny can help you combat erosion in different parts of your landscape. Its fibrous, extensive root nodes create a network of roots that binds the soil together, increasing its cohesion and resistance to being washed or blown away.

The roots can also help anchor the soil on sloppy areas, preventing runoff during strong winds and heavy rains.

7. Compatibility with Other Plants

You can plant creeping Jenny alongside other perennials or pair it with other groundcovers to create a diverse and visually appealing garden.


1.  Invasive Tendencies

One of the biggest drawbacks of growing creeping Jenny as groundcover is its potential to become invasive. It’s regarded as invasive in some North American regions.

 If left uncontrolled, this perennial can spread beyond its intended area, invading other parts of your garden and potentially outcompeting less vigorous plants. Its dense mats can smother plants, reducing biodiversity.

Therefore, if you choose to grow it, you must put in time and effort to contain its growth. You’ll need to trim it regularly.

 2. Water Requirements

Creeping Jenny revels in moist soils, so you will need to irrigate your creeping Jenny more if you live in low-rainfall regions to maintain the correct moisture levels. This means extra maintenance work and increased water usage.

 3. Susceptibility to root Rot

Although creeping Jenny is less prone to pests and diseases, it can suffer root rot if it sits in poorly drained soil. So, you must be vigilant when watering this plant, ensure your garden has good drainage, and monitor the plants properly.

 4. Difficult Removal

Once established, removing creeping Jenny from your garden can be challenging because it develops extensive root systems. If some root fragments remain in the soil, they can grow into new creeping Jenny plants. Digging out the rhizomes can also be difficult and time-consuming.

Best Places To Use Creeping Jenny As Ground Cover

Creeping Jenny as ground cover

Creeping Jenny is highly versatile, so you can use it as ground cover in multiple locations. Below are some of the best ones.

i) Garden Borders and Edging

Plant creeping Jenny along the edges of your garden beds to develop clear boundaries or along walkways and paths to soften edges. The foliage will form a striking contrast with the other plants, making the area more vibrant.

You can also use this plant to define the edges of your pathways or walkways. However, note that creeping Jenny can only handle light foot traffic, so avoid growing it in areas with heavy traffic.

ii) Rock Gardens

Creeping Jenny is an excellent candidate for softening the hard edges of rocks as the plants drape over the rocks, creating a cascading effect. This plant will also make your rock garden livelier and more colorful, with the foliage contrasting well with the stones.

iii) Around Trees and Shrubs

Do away with the bare ground under your trees with creeping Jenny. Since this plant can tolerate shade, it will thrive in these areas, giving the space much-needed visual interest. You can also use it to fill in the gaps at the bases of your shrubs for a more cohesive and pleasant look.

However, ensure the creeping Jenny doesn’t compete too aggressively with tree and shrub roots.

iv) Water Gardens and Pond Edges

Since creeping Jenny thrives in moist areas, it is ideal for planting close to water features. For instance, consider planting it along your pond’s shallow edges, where it can trail into the water.

v) Slopes

The sloppy parts of your garden or yard could benefit from creeping Jenny’s erosion control capabilities. The foliage will also soften the slopes, giving it a lovely appearance.


To sum up, creeping Jenny is an excellent ground cover choice as this beautiful plant grows rapidly, has low maintenance needs, is versatile, resilient, and helps control erosion. However, although it offers many benefits, make sure you weigh them against its drawbacks. That way, you’ll determine if it suits your landscape.

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