How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Weed

Overview

Creeping Charlie is an invasive weed, which is also known as ground ivy, creeping jenny, and gill-over-the-ground. You will find it growing close to the ground in shady and moist areas. It grows mainly in lawns (choking out the grass), but it can also be found in rock gardens, and plant beds. Creeping Charlie can be identified by its small geranium like leaves, and by its lavender/blue spring flowers. The weed grows and spreads by its creeping stems, and its seeds. Creeping Charlie can be removed from the lawn by several methods: by developing a thick/healthy turf, by getting rid of extremely shady and poorly drained spots, through digging out the weed, and by applying a postemergence broadleaf herbicide.

Step 1

Develop a healthy lawn by routine fertilization, over seeding in the fall, watering when needed, and maintaining a mowing height of 2 -- 3 ½ inches. By developing and maintaining a healthy lawn, weeds will be less likely to take hold in your lawn.

Step 2

Thin the crown of trees by pruning out dense branches, this will allow additional sunlight into the lawn area. It will also eliminate moist areas.

Step 3

Place dirt in low areas in the lawn to eliminate poor drainage spots. Creeping Charlie likes moist areas so the idea is to eliminate these moist/wet areas.

Step 4

Dig out the weed as soon as you see it growing -- this is the only way to eliminate it from rock gardens and garden beds. (You cannot use a herbicide in these areas as it would kill your perennial and annual plants.) Be sure to dispose of the weed -- do not put it in your compost bin.

Step 5

Apply a postemergence broadleaf herbicide to your lawn. This should be done if the weed is running rampant, and has taken over the majority of your lawn. Apply according to the manufacturer's directions. Wear protective gear such as goggles, a respirator, and gloves. The broadleaf herbicide should contain salt of dicamba (3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid) or triclopyr. Two products that contain this are Trimec or Three Way Lawn Weed Killer. The application should be done in mid to late autumn - after the first frost. One application may not completely kill the weed and you may have to apply it again in the spring. Apply the second application when the plants are blooming, this is when the herbicide is most effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Grass seed
  • Pole prunner
  • Dirt
  • Weeding fork
  • Postemergence broadleaf herbicide

References

  • University of Minnesota - Yard and Garden: Creeping Charlie
  • University of Wisconsin -- Madison: Controlling Creeping Charlie
Keywords: creeping Charlie rid, dig dispose annual perennial, dirt poor drainage

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Eglomerate.com. Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.