How to Control a Creeping Charlie


Creeping Charlie or ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) is a difficult weed to control. First introduced to the United States by European settlers as a shade tolerant ground cover, creeping Charlie is an invasive weed in the mint family. It is a perennial that has multiple methods of self propagation such as seeds and creeping stems with nodes that produce roots. Creeping Charlie is easy to identify by its bright green leaves with scalloped edges and small, purple, funnel-shaped flowers that bloom in the spring. Mowing lawns with a very low cut will control creeping Charlie some, but herbicide containing a combination of 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba will work best. The best time of year to spray is in the fall while the weather is still warm.

Step 1

Add herbicide to the sprayer. Only add water if you have purchased a concentrated herbicide. Follow the directions on the package carefully.

Step 2

Apply herbicide to the patches of creeping Charlie after the first frost. Wet the weed but do not soak the ground, as this may cause the loss of desirable plants.

Step 3

Rake the dead plants and remove them from the yard. Do not compost weeds; seeds may still be viable and will spread easily from a compost pile.

Step 4

Fill a grass spreader with a shade-tolerant grass. Creeping red fescue tolerates shady areas well. Seed the patches where the weed was removed two weeks after spraying. Water the grass, keeping the soil moist to encourage germination.

Things You'll Need

  • Sprayer
  • Herbicide
  • Rake
  • Grass seed
  • Spreader


  • University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension: Creeping Charlie
  • University of Wisconsin: Controlling Creeping Charlie
Keywords: creeping Charlie, perennial weed control, ground cover

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.