How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie in the Flowerbed


Creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is an invasive weed that spreads rapidly and returns year after year. Sometimes called ground ivy, it can easily take over a grassy lawn in only one growing season. Although you can remove the weed by hand, the plant's tiny seeds scatter easily, making it difficult to permanently get rid of the plant. For that reason, the best way to kill it completely is to use an herbicide, even if the weed is in a flowerbed.

Step 1

Cover nearby plants in the flowerbed with a tarp or plastic. Or set up a cardboard barrier around the plants that will block any drifting spray from the herbicide.

Step 2

Gather up the vines of the plant, and bunch them up into piles. Do not uproot the weeds, just untangle their vines from the roots of any trees or other plants where they might be hiding. This will isolate them so you can focus the application of the herbicide directly on them.

Step 3

Choose an herbicide that lists MCPP and 2,4-D as the active ingredients.

Step 4

Apply the herbicide on a dry, still, cool day. Wind might blow the herbicide onto nearby plants. Autumn is the best time to apply the herbicide, when the temperatures only reach in the mid to upper 60s. In the fall, the creeping charlie will be going dormant and storing nutrients, so when you spray, the weeds will store the herbicide, giving you the best control response. Also, wait for a time when there is no rain in the forecast for the next two days.

Step 5

Put on a pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands. Spray the herbicide on the creeping charlie until the leaves are wet. Do not spray directly on the ground, as this can negatively affect nearby plants in the flowerbed. The herbicide is made to travel through the leaves to the roots of the plant, eventually killing it.

Things You'll Need

  • Tarp or plastic
  • Large pieces of cardboard
  • Gardening gloves
  • Herbicide containing MCPP and 2,4-D


  • University of Minnesota: Creeping Charlie

Who Can Help

  • Green Thumb Articles: How to Kill Creeping Charlie
Keywords: get rid of, creeping charlie, kill the plant

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. She has worked as an educator and now writes academic research content for EBSCO Publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.