How to Kill Creeping Charlie Organically

Overview

Creeping Charlie is a weed that can be very difficult to kill because it spreads quickly. The weed thrives in shady, moist areas. Several organic methods exist for removing creeping Charlie. Weeding can be effective if the creeping Charlie is still young, but does not work well on more mature plants. Borax, an organic cleaner, can also be used to make a solution that kills creeping Charlie. However, Borax can also harm surrounding plants and grass.

Weeding

Step 1

Pull the creeping Charlie up by hand if the growth is limited to a small area. This usually means that the weed is still young and delicate. Grasp a section of the creeping Charlie as close to the base of the stem as possible and, gently but firmly, pull up. The goal is to remove all of the roots as well as the top of the plant. Wear gardening gloves, as creeping Charlie is tough to grasp.

Step 2

Use a dethatching rake to remove the creeping Charlie if the weed is widespread and thick. Place the tip of the blade on the soil and pull the blade toward your body. Push the rake back and forth until the creeping Charlie is loosened.

Step 3

Scoop up the dead creeping Charlie and dispose of it immediately.

Step 4

Scatter grass seed or plant shade-resistant plants in the cleared area, if desired. Clearing creeping Charlie by weeding, particularly when using a dethatching rake, often leaves behind bare patches in the ground.

Step 5

Repeat as often as necessary. To cut back on the amount of weeding required, try to completely clear the ground of creeping Charlie in the fall when the temperature begins to drop and the plant is at its weakest. This increases the chances of killing the entire plant.

Using Borax

Step 1

Choose a date in the spring when rain isn't in the forecast for at least two days. The Borax solution needs to sit on the creeping Charlie for at least 48 hours to kill it.

Step 2

Mix 10 oz. of borax into 1/2 cup of warm water. Pour that solution into a lawn sprayer along with 2-1/2 gallons of warm water. Mix thoroughly.

Step 3

Spray an even layer of the Borax solution over the creeping Charlie. Be careful to avoid other areas of vegetation. Though creeping Charlie is generally more sensitive to borax than lawn grasses and plants are, enough of this solution can kill just about anything.

Step 4

Pull up the creeping Charlie when it turns brown, wilts and dies.

Step 5

Wait 1 year, then repeat the treatment once more. If it hasn't worked after the second round, it isn't likely to do much good. You may need to turn to non-organic pesticides to get rid of the creeping Charlie for good.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Dethatching rake
  • Borax
  • Lawn sprayer

References

  • Yard and Garden Brief: Creeping Charlie
  • Yard and Garden Brief: Using Borax to Control Creeping Charlie
Keywords: creeping charlie, weed, borax

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.