How to Remove a Creeping Charlie Plant


Creeping charlie, known botanically as Glechoma hederacea or colloquially as ground ivy, is a perennial ground cover weed belonging to the mint family. It has an aggressive and persistent growth habit that makes it an invasive species and very difficult to eradicate. Creeping charlie's vigorous and speedy growth comes from its ability to seed liberally and use rhizomatic runners to spread and surface root. It prefers moist soil and shade, though it will grow in full sun. Permanent removal takes patience and persistent monitoring and maintenance weeding over time.

Step 1

Water your creeping charlie patch the day or so before removal efforts to loosen the roots and runners in the soil.

Step 2

Wearing a pair of garden gloves, begin pulling the plants up and out of the soil by the roots. Grasp the plant between at the base against the soil with your thumb, forefinger wrapped at the base and curling your fingers around the bulk of the plant and pull up and out of the soil. If the plants are breaking off and not lifting with most of the roots intact water again, wait 20 to 30 minutes and begin pulling again.

Step 3

Repeat this process weekly or monthly until all visible signs of the plant are removed. Rake through the soil to lift out the remaining plant roots. Discard all plant parts in the garbage not the compost bin to prevent the inadvertent reseeding of the plant.

Step 4

Spray creeping charlie with a homemade organic solution of borax and water in the spring once a year for just two years as after that it becomes toxic to the soil. Mix 10 ounces of Twenty Mule Team granular Borax with 4 ounces of warm water in a bowl to dissolve it. Dilute that mixture with 2 1/2 gallons of clear water. Use this recipe for for every 1,000 square feet of creeping charlie you need to eradicate.

Step 5

Spray persistent creeping charlie with an herbicide containing the active ingredients 2,4-D and MCPP when manual removal and organic treatments have failed over time. Follow the dosing and application directions on the label and limit the over spray as much as possible to prevent collateral plant death. Use herbicides in the fall when ambient temperatures fall below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and you will have a few days without rain.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Water
  • Twenty Mule Team Borax
  • Garden sprayer or mister bottle
  • Rake


  • Purdue University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota
Keywords: creeping charlie, glechoma hederacae ground ivy, remove eradicate strip

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.