Creeping Charlie Weed Information

Other Names: Creeping Charlie is also known as Ground Ivy and Gill-over-the-ground

Scientific Name: Glechoma hederacea

Life Cycle: Perennial. Reproduces by seeds and creeping stems.

How To Identify Creeping Charlie

  • Creeping Charlie is confused most often with henbit and creeping speedwell.
  • Stems are four-sided and forms a dense mat.
  • Small purple flowers that start to bloom in May.
  • Leaves round with scalloped margins

 Creeping Charlie Habitat

Creeping Charlie commonly invades lawns that have a woods surrounding them. This is because Creeping Charlie will normally start growing in heavily shaded areas in the woods and start spreading into the lawn after a few years. Creeping Charlie is an aggressive weed and is a prennial so it will continue to reproduce seeds each year.

Creeping Charlie Removal

 How to Kill Creeping Charlie in Your Lawn

Creeping Charlie is very difficult to control. It is an aggressive weed that thrives in shaded moist areas. Most post-emergent herbicides do not work. The most effective herbicides to use on Creeping Charlie are those with the active ingredient of Triclopyr in them. We have had the best success using T-Zone Herbicide on Creeping Charlie/Ground Ivy. This may be more than you want to spend, so a cheaper option would be Ortho-Weed B Gone. However, this will not be as effective as T-zone. Spraying the Creeping Charlie with Drive XLR8 has worked great for us. The best time to apply post emergent is in the May when Creeping Charlie is flowering or in the fall.

Spraying chemicals will kill the majority of the creeping charlie. To ensure that the creep charlie does not come back it is important to mow your lawn at three inches or higher and water consistently. This will help your grass compete with the creeping charlie and choke it out. If you live in the north, a fertilizer such as Ferti-Lome Lawn Food that contains Iron, 24% Nitrogen, and 4% Potassium will help your lawn receive the nutrients it needs to compete with all sorts of weeds.

How to get Rid of Creeping Charlie Organically

Creeping Charlie or Ground Ivy is one of those tough to kill weeds. This means that organic methods are normally no very effective. You should forget about trying to make your own solution that will effectively kill creeping charlie. However, we have success in the past using Bayer Advance NATRIA Grass and Weed killer. This weed killer is made out of Ammoniated soap and fatty acids which means it is made using ingredients you find around your house. It is extremely important to state that this is a non-selective herbicide. This means it will kill your grass, so it is important to make sure you are only spraying the creeping charlie and not the grass surround it.

Cultural controls such as lawn aeration will help your soil drain. Properly drained soil helps deter Creeping Charlie from “creeping” back into your lawn. Personally, Creeping Charlie as not been a problem for us where lawns are properly cared for. Fertilizer applications, aeration, consistent sprinkling, and mowing your lawn at a high setting should stop Creeping Charlie from being a problem. Creeping Charlie loves to take over lawns that have bare spots and where there is no competition from grass.

If your lawn has bare spots, it is important to plant grass seed there in the spring or the fall to keep weeds from taking over that area.