How to Eliminate a Creeping Charlie

Overview

Fast-growing and pesky when sprawling across a lawn, creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) is hard to eradicate. Pulling the plant out usually causes the stems to break off, leaving the taproot to sprout back with a denser flush of stems. Typical herbicides seem ineffectual, only slightly yellowing the leaves and not killing this weed. Applying a weed-killing product with the active ingredient dicamba in mid-spring or early fall when the plant is most actively growing is the best way to eliminate creeping charlie.

Step 1

Purchase a herbicide product with the active ingredient dicamba. A hardware store or garden center will likely carry these herbicides.

Step 2

Read the product label for mixing dosages and procedures. Water soluble solutions of dicamba allow for best application of the chemical onto the weed's leaves and are easily applied in hand-held spray bottles.

Step 3

Evenly spray the herbicide onto all leaves and stem tips of the creeping charlie. Shield nearby plants you do not want to get the herbicide on by covering them with a bed sheet or newspaper. Wait four days to six days after mowing the lawn before spraying the dicamba-based herbicides onto weeds in the lawn. The more regrowth foliage on the weed, the more herbicide absorbed.

Step 4

Monitor the reaction of the weed over the course of four days to eight days. Look for shriveling of leaves and stem tips, as well as yellowing.

Step 5

Re-apply the herbicide to the creeping charlie every 14 days to 21 days as was done in Steps 3 and 4. Well-established weeds, rainfall and temperatures can all affect how quickly and thoroughly the herbicide acts on the weed. Don't be surprised if this plant must be repeatedly treated over two months to five months to finally kill it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always follow herbicide product label directions regarding dosages, use of appropriate clothing and protective equipment and storage. Do not get dicamba on your skin or clothing or in your eyes. Use care when spraying dicamba, as any spray drift that lands near desirable shrubs or trees may be absorbed by roots and harm them. Do not apply it when air temperatures are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemical persists in the soil for one week to six weeks after being applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide with dicamba
  • Spray bottle

References

  • Univ. of Wisconsin Extension: Creeping Charlie Control
  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service: Dicamba
Keywords: weed control, dicamba, ground ivy, creeping charlie, creeping charlie control

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for The Public Garden, Docent Educator, numerous non-profit newsletters and for Learn2Grow.com's comprehensive plant database. He holds a Master's degree in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware and studied horticulture and biology in Australia at Murdoch University and the University of Melbourne's Burnley College.