Today I’ll be sharing my tips for how to grow Creeping Jenny, one of my favourite plants for brightening up dull or dark spots in the garden!
Creeping Jenny has been one of my very favourite plants to grow over the last few years. Actually, I think that this is really one of those “if you know, you know” kind of plants and everyone who discovers it, just loves it. Creeping Jenny can be kind of tricky because in my area in zone 6, it’s actually usually merchandised in garden centres right alongside the annuals that you would buy to fill your planters. I only discovered that it was actually a perennial because one year I planted it in my planters and it grew back. I thought it was just a lucky break, but the same thing happened the following year. Then I took the time to actually look at the tag and – lo and behold – it was actually a perennial! The great thing is that Creeping Jenny is usually priced like an annual, so it’s often super affordable compared to other bright, happy perennials as well. So here’s how to grow Creeping Jenny as a perennial!
Why I Love Creeping Jenny
Creeping Jenny is a great spreader and really perfect for people with large gardens to fill. It looks amazing in planters during the summer time, but when you’re done with it, you can replant it in your garden and have it come back year after year. It will put down new roots here and there where the leaves touch the ground and will start a whole new plant the following year from that location. We just have so much garden space all around our property so I love that it will spread, but it’s also very easy to pull out if you find that it’s getting a little too spread out.
I’m always looking for ways to add different shades of green to my garden so everything doesn’t look the same and I find that Creeping Jenny really fits the bill when it comes to adding brighter chartreuse notes here and there in a way that is really impactful, really quickly. I have some hostas in a similar color, but I find that the chartreuse ones I’ve used aren’t as fast-growing as other hostas and don’t make quite as big of an impression as Creeping Jenny does. Just plant it anywhere that you need a little brightness and you’ll have it in a big way within a month or two, whereas you may have to wait a few years with other plants that grow more slowly.
How to Grow Creeping Jenny
You can choose to grow creeping Jenny in planters, or in your perennial borders, or both! It’s a beautiful “spiller” for summer planters because it cascades down like strings of little bright green pearls. When you’re ready to switch your planters over to mums for the fall, replant the creeping Jenny somewhere in your garden and it will come back bigger and better the following year!
As a perennial, Creeping Jenny likes moist, well-drained soil. It grows best in a spot with filtered sun for just part of the day and shade for the rest of the day. It will tolerate a sunny spot and the leaves will actually turn an even brighter yellow-green with a bit more sun. It usually isn’t too happy in a fully-shaded spot. The leaves will be quite a bit darker green and it will grow quite a bit more slowly, although it usually won’t die. If it doesn’t seem to be happy where it is, I just dig it up and move it no matter what time of year it is and it always bounces right back when it’s in a better spot.
It will tolerate a bit of neglect and doesn’t necessarily need watering every single day in the summer, and you also really don’t need to worry about feeding it.
I like to plant it to fill in under and around my hostas, or anywhere that it can spill out a bit onto our walkway. It’s just always a winner and a good plant to know about!
Do you grow creeping Jenny anywhere in your yard? What’s your favourite place to use it?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.