How to Keep a Creeping Charlie Out of my Garden


Just when you have planted flowers or vegetables and you're eagerly awaiting their bloom, a popular weed may creep in and do its best to take over. Creeping Charlie, an invasive weed, is actually used by some gardeners as a ground cover because it blooms delicate flowers, while others know it to be a pesky problem that is a persistent grower. Keep an eye out for Charlie and take the appropriate measures to keep it out of your garden.

Step 1

Prune shrubs or trees to allow more light to flow and discourage the growth of creeping Charlie, which thrives in moist, shady locations.

Step 2

Maintain your lawn at height of 2 to 3 ½ inches and improve its overall health by keeping it appropriately fertilized and watered.

Step 3

Hand-pull the weed and its roots in areas that are not heavily infested. Use a power rake or dethatcher to remove the weeds in more heavily concentrated areas. Dethatch in mid-August to mid-September when it's time to re-seed a lawn, as dethatching generally requires seeds to be replaced.

Step 4

Spray a post-emergent herbicide, such as Trimec or Three-Way Lawn Killer onto the weed. Apply when the weeds are actively growing, typically mid-to-late fall. Apply a second application of the herbicide in the spring, between April and June, when the weeds begin to bloom again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not allow the herbicide to come into contact with flowers or vegetables.

Things You'll Need

  • Dethatcher
  • Post-emergent herbicide


  • University of Wisconsin: Controlling Creeping Charlie
Keywords: creeping Charlie, preventing creeping Charlie, kill creeping Charlie

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.