How To Propagate Creeping Jenny: Steps To Divide Creeping Jenny, Its Benefits, Design Ideas and FAQs
Creeping jenny (botanical name Lysimachia nummularia) is a low-growing evergreen perennial that is mostly used as ground cover, trailing plant, or filler. It is also commonly known as ‘moneywort’ for its round and coin-shaped leaves. Originally a highly invasive species, its cultivar has gained prominence for its bright lime green foliage and less aggressive growth habit. This creeper has also gained traction for being low-maintenance. Plus, it is quite easy to propagate creeping jenny through its softwood cuttings.
Although a native of Europe, today this plant grows widely across the US due to its resilience to poor soil conditions. Since it is a hardy plant, many gardeners try to propagate creeping jenny at home. However, its vigorous outgrowth can also become an annoyance if not kept in check. So if you have landed here searching “how to propagate creeping jenny?” we will cover in detail the different methods to multiply and contain this creeper. Since this plant is frequently used in water gardening setups, we will also teach you the process of creeping jenny propagation in water.
Table of Content
- Characteristics of Creeping Jenny
- Steps for Propagating Creeping Jenny
- Benefits of Creeping Jenny
- Why Does Creeping Jenny Hold a Bad Reputation? How to Contain Its Growth?
- Design Ideas
- Frequently Asked Questions
Characteristics of Creeping Jenny
The defining characteristics of creeping jenny are its coin-shaped bright green leaves that grow in pairs on opposite sides along the entire length of the stem. From May to August this plant bears bell-shaped yellow flowers that bloom on stalks branching out of the main stem.
This herbaceous plant grows in moist and well-draining soil (ideal soil pH 6 to 7.8) and can easily be found in wet grasslands or river banks. It enjoys direct sun or partial shade, and its leaves change color according to the sun exposure. The plant will have bright golden leaves in direct sun and chartreuse green foliage under partial shade. While there are different varieties of creeping jenny growing across the US (primarily USDA zones 3 to 9), the golden creeping jenny aka “golden jenny,” is the most liked variant.
Since this plant grows low to the ground with trailing stems spreading quickly through rootstocks, you need to put in very little effort to propagate creeping jenny. In fact, you need to keep it contained to prevent it from damaging other plant’s growth. Continue reading to discover how to propagate creeping jenny through rootstock cutting, seeds, and also how to divide creeping jenny via root mass.
Guide to Propagate Creeping Jenny
The best time to propagate creeping jenny is during spring or early summer when fresh growth erupts from the stems’ tips. For those of you searching “how to propagate creeping jenny?” you can easily and quickly propagate this creeper in several ways. It produces seeds that can be sown to develop into new saplings. This plant develops rhizomes, which is a plant stem that develops roots from the leaf nodes. Plus, you can also learn how to divide creeping jenny using its root ball. Now let us understand each process step-by-step.
a. Stem Cuttings
The stem cuttings of this plant can be planted in soil or a potting mix. You can also use these cuttings for the creeping jenny propagation in water. Now, to learn how to propagate creeping jenny through its root stem cuttings, you will need the following things and tools.
- Sharp knife/pair of scissors
- Potting medium/soil
- Celled planting tray/planting pot (4-5 inch diameter)
- Rooting hormone
- 2-gallon clear plastic bag
- Wooden skewers
Step 1: Prepare the potting medium
Water the plant heartily the night before you plan to gather its cuttings. Prepare a potting mix using two parts perlite, one part sand, and one part sterile compost. Fill your pot or celled planting tray with this medium. Saturate the mix with water and allow it to drain for 20-30 minutes.
Step 2: Snip off the cuttings
- Identify a young stem of your plant and measure 3 to 5 inches down the length of this stem.
- Using a sharp knife or a pair of clean scissors, sever the stem 1/8 inch below a leaf node. Snip off multiple cuttings the same way.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cuttings before preparing them for planting.
Step 3: Dust the cuttings with rooting hormone
Take any standard rooting hormone and dip the severed ends of the cutting in the powder. This will speed up the rooting process. However, you can this step if you want.
Step 4: Plant the cuttings
- Poke multiple holes in the potting mix. The depth of these holes should be half the length of the cuttings.
- Insert the severed end of the cutting into the holes and push the soil against the stems.
- Pour some water around each cutting to settle the potting mix.
Step 5: Place the pot/tray inside the plastic bag
- Place the pot inside a transparent plastic bag and use wooden skewers to prevent the bag from touching the cuttings.
- Close the bag and make a ½-inch cut on the top to allow excess moisture to escape.
Step 6: Monitor light and moisture
- Choose a spot indoors, probably a windowsill, which receives bright but indirect sunlight. If keeping outdoors, keep the pot under light shade. Make sure to protect the cuttings from direct sunlight.
- Open the bag once every day to check upon the moisture level. Water the cuttings when the soil feels barely moist. Also, mist the leaves with water.
Step 7: Check for the roots
Given the right conditions to propagate creeping jenny, the cuttings will develop roots in 2 to 4 weeks. You can check for the roots by gently pulling the stems near the base. If they feel stuck to the potting mix, your cuttings have rooted.
Step 8: Transplant the cuttings
Wait for another 10 days to allow the cuttings to grow new leaves. Before transplanting them to a new spot under full sun, place the cuttings in partial sunlight for a few hours every day to get them acclimatized. You can then transplant the cuttings into a pot or plant them outdoors.
b. Propagate Creeping Jenny from Seeds
Home gardeners often search “how to propagate creeping jenny using seeds?” It is best for beginners to propagate the seeds in a small pot or container as you can closely monitor the soil moisture. However, you can also sow them directly outdoors under partial shade during the spring season. Procure the seeds either from a nearby nursery or ask your friends or neighbors growing this plant. If you wish to propagate the golden jenny cultivar, you will have to stick to the first method or try the creeping jenny propagation in water.
- Fill a tray or pot with the potting mix as described in the first method.
- Sow the seeds an inch deep in the soil and cover the tray with transparent plastic.
- Keep the tray outside under partial shade or indoors on a windowsill that receives indirect sunlight.
- Maintain the moisture of the soil by watering it regularly.
It will take around a month or more for the seedlings to shoot out of the soil. Allow them to grow in the same tray for a few weeks until they start producing trails. Transplant them to a different pot or in your garden. If planting outside, maintain a gap of at least a foot from other plants as they grow rapidly and hamper others’ growth.
c. Propagate Creeping Jenny by Dividing the Root Mass
For users searching “how to divide creeping jenny?” this is perhaps the easiest method. During the spring or early summer, uproot the entire plant from the soil and separate a section along with a bunch of roots. Plant the separated section in a different pot or directly in your garden. Since the creeping jenny produces rhizomes, you can also pull out the trailing stems with roots and transplant them to a different location.
d. Creeping Jenny Propagation in Water
To begin the creeping jenny propagation in water, simply take a few cuttings as described in method A. Remove the bottom leaves of each stem and immerse the severed end in a glass of water. The cutting should stay 1 to 2 inches deep in water to develop new roots. Place the cuttings on a windowsill that receives bright indirect sunlight. Change the water every 3 to 5 days to prevent any rot. It can take around 2 to 4 weeks for new roots to emerge. Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, your cuttings are ready to be potted.
Benefits of Creeping Jenny
Creeping jenny is easy to care for, it multiplies rapidly, and its peppy green foliage can invigorate any boring corner of your home. It can also withstand good foot traffic, making it ideal for footpaths and garden landscapes. Since this plant can also grow on water, many people use it for water arrangements and pond borders.
Besides being a visual stunner, this plant boasts of several medical benefits. In medieval times, creeping jenny was popularly used as a wound healer. It has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine to treat gallstones and stones in the urinary bladder. It is also used by some practitioners to control gout symptoms and treat skin conditions like eczema. However, we will not recommend using the plant to treat any condition on your own without consulting a doctor.
Why Does Creeping Jenny Hold a Bad Reputation? How to Contain its Growth?
While searching the internet for “how to propagate creeping jenny?” you must have realized that this plant has earned a bad reputation for its aggressive growth. So much so that it has even been termed as a nuisance and nurseries avoid keeping it on sale. Its original species particularly grow more notoriously, and if not contained, it can quickly overtake your entire garden ruining any plant that comes in its way.
Even if you plan to plant it in containers, you need to be careful while disposing of the pots since it can establish itself even in poor growing conditions. Plus, the seeds can sneak out from the pots and drop in the garden, where they can root and spread like wildfire. So you must trim the plant before it flowers to prevent its seeds from disbursing.
Regular pruning or growing them in containers is the best way to contain its growth. If you wish to grow it as an ornamental plant in your garden, you can go for the golden cultivar since it is less invasive and does not seed as well. Keeping the soil less moist can also mitigate the growth to some extent, but don’t let the soil dry out completely.
Now that you have learned how to propagate creeping jenny, you can use this plant to add a vibrant hue to your trays gardens or backyard landscape. You can plant it as a spiller plant indoors in hanging pots that will allow its cascading trails to hang over the edges. You can also use it as a bordering plant in your water garden. Plus, it can serve as an excellent filler to soften the hard edges of rocks around your pond or any water setup.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you take cuttings from creeping Jenny?
You can easily propagate creeping jenny using its softwood cuttings. You will need to give them a moist and sterile medium for growth under a partly shaded area.
2. Does Creeping Jenny come back every year?
Creeping jenny is an evergreen perennial that will retain its leaves throughout the winters in the warmer zones. In colder areas, it may disappear completely in winter but will grow back once the cold season ends.
3. Does creeping jenny like sun or shade?
Creeping jenny flourishes in direct sun or partial shade.
4. How do you winterize creeping jenny?
To prepare creeping jenny for winters, keep watering it as usual until the ground freezes. Water it more frequently if the soil bed is drier. Trim off any dead foliage and flowers. Stop watering the plant once the ground freezes. Water it next only when the ground thaws with the onset of spring.
5. How do you manage the creeping jenny?
Physically remove the excess growth and spray an herbicide in the area where you don’t want it to grow back. You can also bring the growth under control by cutting off the light supply. Placing a black plastic or mulch over the excess growth should do the trick.
That brings us to the end of our guide on “how to propagate creeping jenny?” Though this plant is infamous for being highly invasive, it can be an excellent addition to your tray arrangements and hanging pots when contained the right way. However, you need to take extra care while planting it outdoors since it can be detrimental to other plants’ growth. Other than that, whether you want to know how to divide creeping jenny or learn the creeping jenny propagation in water, this plant can be quite accommodating to different propagating methods.