How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie & Creeping Jenny

Overview

Glechoma hederacea, or Creeping Charlie, is a round-leaved, aromatic perennial herb with little blue flowers. It is a member of the mint family that also is known as Creeping Jenny. Lysimachia nummulari, or Moneywort, is a perennial weed with little yellow flowers. A member of the primrose family, it is also called Creeping Jenny. Creeping Jenny is also a common name for Solanales convolvulaceae, known as bindweed or morning glory. Most lawn owners would opt to get rid of all three of these invasive creeping weeds, whatever their names.

Step 1

Starve ground ivy, moneywort and morning glories by keeping your lawn healthy. Creeping weeds grow wild when lawn turf is stressed. Grow the right varieties of grass for your region and sun exposure. Mow often, removing only one-third of the blade at a time.

Step 2

Pull weeds as soon as you spot them. Ground ivy has scalloped leaves and blue flowers, moneywort has shiny round evergreen leaves with yellow flowers, and morning glory has small arrowhead-shaped leaves and white trumpet-shaped flowers like domesticated morning glories. Follow stolons back to their source and dig out the mother plant with a dandelion digger. Destroy plants. Do not add them to your compost heap.

Step 3

Apply a broadleaf herbicide that contains glyphosate or 2,4-D. Both have been shown to be effective. Dicamba is effective against ground ivy and field bindweed. Apply the herbicide when the weeds are actively growing and blooming in spring when the temperature is above 60 and below 80 degrees F. Apply herbicides when dry weather is expected for at least 24 hours after application.

Step 4

Make another application of broadleaf control the following spring if creeping weeds return. During each growing season, dig and pull any reappearing plants to keep them from setting seed. These hardy plants are stubbornly invasive. If there are any in the neighborhood, they'll come back eventually.

Step 5

Exercise the "nuclear option" when ground ivy, moneywort or morning glory takes over; tilling soil may eradicate the creepers if you comb through the soil and remove any healthy stolons. This approach would be a good way to control weeds in annual flower beds before planting but re-seeding a lawn may not be practical.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always apply herbicides with methods and in rates according to directions on the label. Avoid applying herbicides in windy conditions when they may drift to other plants. Choose an herbicide that is safe to use in aquatic habitats if you have a fish pond, water feature or border on a wetland area. Wash hands thoroughly after handling herbicides.

Things You'll Need

  • Dandelion digger
  • Weed and feed or broadleaf herbicide
  • Spreader or sprayer
  • Garden gloves

References

  • Langlade County Wisconsin: Creeping Jenny
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Using Borax to Get Control Creeping Charlie
  • Invasive Plants of the U.S.:Identification, Biology and Control

Who Can Help

  • University of Wisconsin Master Gardener: Controlling Creeping Charlie
  • University of Wisconsin Horticultural Extension: Lawn Weeds
  • Illinois Wildflowers: Moneywort
Keywords: Creeping Charlie, Creeping Jenny, morning glory, invasive species, perennial weeds

About this Author

Chicago native Laura Reynolds has been writing for 40 years. She attended American University (D.C.), Northern Illinois University and University of Illinois Chicago and has a B.S. in communications (theater). Originally a secondary school communications and history teacher, she's written one book and edited several others. She has 30 years of experience as a local official, including service as a municipal judge.