Mainly the sprawling moneywort is found as ground cover at the pond edge. It can also be kept in pots on balconies and terraces – or as a houseplant in the house. Here are tips for its care.
Profile of moneywort:
Scientific name: Lysimachia nummularia
Plant family: primrose family (Primulaceae)
Other names: creeping jenny, herb twopence, twopenny grass
Planting time: spring and autumn
Flowering period: May to July
Location: partially shady to shady
Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: ground cover, embankments, group planting, planters, pond planting, underplantin,g area greening, natural garden, potted garden, forest garden, water garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 (-32 °C / -25 °F)
Bee and insect friendly:
Plant characteristics and classification of moneywort
Plant order, origin and occurrence of moneywort
The moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia) is an extremely vigorous perennial that is particularly interesting for water gardens. The plant, also known as creeping jenny, herb twopence or twopenny grass, belongs to the large and diverse family of the primrose family (Primulaceae) as well as to the genus loosestrife (Lysimachia). As in the garden, it can be found in nature, too, mainly near water, mainly on wet grasslands or on damp lake shores. The moneywort is native both in Europe and in the Caucasus.
Characteristics of moneywort
The main characteristic of the moneywort is its rapid growth. It spreads within a very short time by long runners carpet-like or mat-like. The creeping shoots partly develop their own roots. Compared to its height – the moneywort grows to a height of only 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 in) – its growth width is really impressive. One plant alone grows between 30 and 40 centimeters (12 to 16 in) wide. However, under optimal conditions and with sufficient space, a half-meter (20 in) shoot length is not uncommon either.
The roundish and light green colored leaves of moneywort have entire margins, are smooth and leathery. They sit crosswise on the long shoots. In mild winters, the plant retains its foliage.
The moneywort owes its idiosyncratic name to its bowl-shaped flowers, which are reminiscent of small gold coins in both color and size. They develop in the leaf axils, are bright yellow in color, simple and pretty much the size of a penny. The flowering period lasts from May/June to July, depending on the weather.
After the bloom, inconspicuous inflorescences in the form of capsules are formed.
Moneywort – cultivation and care
The moneywort prefers a bright location. The plant does not like to stand in the blazing sun. A place in partially shady conditions is ideal. The moneywort feels most comfortable when water is nearby. It can also be used as an aquarium plant and can contribute to the regulation of the nutrient balance in the water. However, care should be taken not to displace other aquatic plants and prevent them from growing.
Note: The Pennywort should only be used as an aquarium plant up to a water temperature of 25 degrees.
In the bed or balcony box the moneywort will find suitable neighbors with astilbe, delphinium, speedwell, spurge or alumroot.
A normal garden soil is usually sufficient. The moneywort is quite frugal. However, the plant cannot cope with a dry soil. The moneywort is one of the helophytes (marsh plants) and therefore tolerates a permanently elevated water level.
The shallow water zone of the garden pond would be an ideal place. A fresh and permeable soil is also an advantage. Heavy clay soils should be mixed with sand.
Planting moneywort – step by step
- select location
- prepare substrate
- dig a planting hole
- upgrading substrate
- insert plant
- fill substrate
- tread down the earth well
- water the plant
- fill in soil, if the soil has settled
The moneywort can be planted in spring and autumn. When choosing the location, it should be noted that the moneywort grows quickly and at the same time it grows in width. The distance to other plant neighbors should therefore be at least 30 centimeters (12 in). No more than ten plants should be planted per square meter (10 s ft).
After digging out the planting hole, the substrate is mixed with compost or horn shavings and thus improved. After planting, the soil may settle and some more substrate may need to be added.
The moneywort can also be cultivated in a tub, but will spread less rapidly. If the plant is placed in the front part of the pot or window box, the hanging shoots will appear particularly attractive.
The water requirement of the moneywort is high. The water-loving plant must not dry out and should therefore be watered regularly. Watering can be saved if you decide to plant it at the edge of the pond or use the moneywort as an aquarium plant.
A partially shady location at the edge of the pond is ideal. Here the moneywort can extend its shoots into the shallow water zone and thus provide its own water requirements.
The nutritional needs of the moneywort can already be covered during planting. Compost or horn shavings are mixed with the substrate. In the following spring, additional fertilization can be applied. Those who do not have organic fertilizer can use a perennial fertilizer.
The moneywort does not necessarily have to be cut. However, pruning is a good way of slowing down the growth of this fast-growing plant. Pruning is possible at any time. The moneywort will not hold it against the hobby gardener if the long runners are shortened a little before they overgrow the bed or the lawn and displace other plants. Pruning also causes the plant to develop a bushy growth.
Propagation will play less of a role with the fast growing plant. Before the hobby gardener knows it, the moneywort has spread to such an extent that actually only the rejuvenation of the plant is an issue.
However, if you would like to propagate the moneywort in a targeted manner, these three options are available:
Propagation by runners
Within a few minutes the moneywort can be propagated by separating a runner, which has already formed roots, from the mother plant and transplanting it separately.
Propagation by division
Propagation of the plant is also easily possible by dividing the shrub. For this, the moneywort must first be dug up. The soil is shaken off and the root ball is divided with a sharp knife. Then the two plants are transplanted separately.
Propagation by cuttings
If the moneywort is cut back, cuttings are the result. These are placed in flower pots and take root there within a few months. Finally, the plant can also be propagated by root cuttings. This is done in autumn. The roots are exposed. In autumn, the hobby gardener selects a healthy and strong root and cuts it into sections about 10 cm (4 in) long. The cuttings are placed in the ground and sprout again the following spring.
Diseases and pests
In fact, the moneywort is one of the few plants that do not have to fight with diseases or pests. Even snails are not interested in this robust plant.
The biggest enemy of the moneywort is drought. A sunny and dry location is not tolerated and leads to leaf discoloration. The leaves become brown and brittle. If the plant stands too dry over a longer period of time, it threatens to die off completely.
The moneywort is robust and hardy down to -32 °C / -25 °F. No winter protection is needed in the open. A too sunny winter stand can cause the shoots to dry out. A pruning in spring, however, will quickly make the damage caused by frost forgotten. So that the moneywort does not dry up in winter, watering should be done occasionally on frost-free days.
Cultivated in a tub, make sure that the plant container is frost-proof. If the pot is to spend the winter outdoors, it is best to place it on a wooden or polystyrene base and wrap a jute bag around the planter. If the planter is placed at an angle in winter, excess liquid can drain off better.
Use in the garden
The moneywort is primarily planted as a fast-growing, robust and easy-care ground cover in the group. It thrives particularly well in water gardens, where it adorns the edges of garden ponds or grows along streams: at flowering time moneywort forms a pretty yellow frame. If you place the perennial in a mixed bed, you must keep a close eye on it to prevent it from overgrowing its companions. In the foreground of the bed, however, it still cuts a very good figure.
Cultivating the moneywort in a pot, which is also possible with the adaptable plants, keeps its growth in check. In the front part of the balcony box or in the hanging basket, its hanging shoots come into their own. The moneywort variety ‘Aurea’ is even cultivated indoors as a hanging houseplant.
The golden pennywort (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) is at least as popular as the species and just as widespread. As the name suggests, its leaves are attractively yellow. The golden pennywort is slightly less vigorous than the species, but like the latter, it does not tolerate direct sunlight. The variety is often used as a decorative, hanging leaf ornamental for balconies and terraces – or, as already mentioned, as a houseplant. The variety ‘Goldilocks’ has similar yellow foliage.