Lysimachia nummularia / Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny is loved and hated by many because it’s such a “successful” groundcover, meaning it does spread under the right circumstances (or wrong, depending on your perspective). Gardeners have posted to Daves Garden mainly positive assessments but for some it’s been a nightmare to get rid of. Cooperative Extensive agents get lots of questions about how to get rid of it but some suggest another alternative — to use it as a lawn replacement.
A commonly seen recommendation is to plant Creeping Jenny only in pots, or where it’s meant to replace an entire lawn, though many gardeners in colder climates report that it’s not an aggressive spreader.
- The author of Covering Ground includes creeping jenny in the Dirty Dozen of aggressive spreaders, though she notes that it’s a successful lawn substitute that tolerates some foot traffic. Her favorite “well-behaved relative” is Lysimachia japonica ‘Minutissima’, hardy to Zones 6-10 and also tolerant of light foot traffic.
- Some gardeners report that the variety ‘Aurea’ is less aggressive.
- Or plant it where it does not thrive — in cold climates or in hot, sunny spots.
- Great in containers — pots, hanging baskets, spilling over window boxes, etc.
- Successful lawn substitute, especially in partially shady spots. (Also in sunny spots, with some supplemental watering.) Will take some foot traffic.
- Flourishes in sites that are moist or even soggy, though it will survive in drier spots.
- Prefers light shade, where its foliage is light green, or medium shade, where its foliage is darker.
- Grows to 1 inch or less in height.
- Zones 2 or 3 through10.
- Native to wet sites in Europe.