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Why Do People Plant Pennies in the Garden?

A pile of pennies surrounding a seedling
Philip Steury Photography/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve ever seen a penny or two at the bottom of a flower pot, or you’ve noticed a few scattered throughout a family member’s garden, you might wonder if that person is trying to conjure up some luck. Or, maybe they’re trying to “grow their investment.” Okay, bad jokes aside, planting pennies has nothing to do with luck or financial gain. But, it can be a great way to keep pests away!

Pennies are considered good luck for a variety of reasons, but there’s actually some science as to why people plant them in their gardens.

From better soil health to serving as a natural pest repellent, let’s take a closer look at why people plant pennies in the garden.

When you put the time and effort into growing a beautiful garden, the last thing you want is to have to spray it with a bunch of chemicals just to keep bugs away.

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Pennies might help with that issue. Many plant aficionados believe that having pennies in the soil will ward off slugs and snails—common leaf-munchers! The copper in the pennies gives the critters a little “shock” and they tend to stay away.

That same copper can also help to protect your plants against harmful fungi. Copper is often found in commercial fungicides, so why not do things the natural way?

Planting pennies may also improve soil health, especially when you have acidic or alkaline soil. Yes, the pH level of your soil matters for optimal plant growth. Adding a few pennies into the soil might help to balance those levels while adding more copper into the dirt. Of course, it’s best to use older pennies when you’re trying this trick. Anything made after 1982 will have less copper.

So, is there any truth to this garden hack? Maybe.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough definitive research to determine if planting pennies really helps to hinder pests and promote garden growth.

However, it’s an old wives’ tale that has been passed from generation to generation for a reason. Plenty of people believe in the power of pennies when it comes to their plants.

So, if you want to plant a few old pennies in your garden next spring, go for it! As long as you don’t overdo it, you won’t hurt anything with the process, and you might even see some greater growth and fewer pests. It’s a harmless, natural way to give your garden a boost without chemicals, so see for yourself whether you’ll get “lucky” with this trick.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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