Creeping Charlie: How to Get Rid of It

Gardening expert Ann Wied tells how to rid your lawn of creeping charlie.

Creeping charlie, or ground ivy

Creeping charlie

Creeping charlie can take over a lawn quickly.

By Ann Wied

Creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea), or ground ivy, can take over lawns rapidly. This member of the mint family—recognized  by its square stems, lipped flowers and faint mint smell—is a perennial spread by shallow roots, and likes shady, damp areas. Hand-pulling can be difficult, and many commercial lawn weed killers have little or no effect on it.

But you can control its creep. Keep your lawn vigorous through proper watering, fertilizing and mowing. Mow high, keeping your grass blades about 2 to 2-1/2 inches tall—that helps it compete with creeping Charlie and other weeds.

If you want to use a commercial weed killer, make sure you ask your garden center for a product that controls creeping charlie. The two most effective times to apply it are in fall, just after the first frost, or spring, during flowering. It may take you a full season or more to control. Follow all label directions and safety precautions carefully.

About our Expert: Ann Wied is consumer horticulture educator for the UW-Extension in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

Sofia Jacobsen 1 August 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I have had Creepy Charlie as a house plant back a few years!!! When ever I did not take care of it it grew outlandish!!!

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