I have a question re a small tree like plant that my neighbor has in his garden that is very pretty. I enjoy it from my garden. He wants to give me a little one that always comes up around this plant.
I have very nice borders in my backyard that slowly are covered in Creeping Jenny groundcover. Each year more and now they are becoming so much and stay longer before they dry up and are gone. I am afraid they will kill my perennials.
I am not so young anymore and can’t pull them out. What should I do? One tells me it’s good and another says to get rid of it.
I send you a picture of the treelike plant to show you. It’s not taller than maybe 5ft. Brownish flowers.
Thank you so much.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your questions about tree identification and management of Creeping Jenny.
The tree in your picture has lance-shaped, green leaves that have a definite mid-rib and other veins running off of it. There are maroon-red flowers located at the ends of the branches. The stem or trunk of the tree is very thin and from what you say it spreads by underground roots or suckers. Unfortunately the picture is blurry and not close up enough to make an accurate identification. Please don’t hesitate to send us another picture and we can take a closer look.
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is a low-growing, evergreen, perennial plant that is considered invasive and may crowd out other plants. Its’ strong and extensive roots can make it difficult to control and remove.
The best way to control or remove this plant is digging or pulling it out. Dispose of the plants into the garbage not your yard waste as it is invasive. Where that is not possible, applying a thick layer of mulch on the Creeping Jenny (e.g., compost or shredded bark) to prevent light and air from reaching the plant, may slow its growth. Be careful not to do this up next to your perennials as very thick mulch can also suffocate their roots.
The Ontario Invasive Plant Council provides alternative plant choices for Creeping Jenny. That information can be found here Grow Me Instead – look on page 15.