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How to Use Borax on Your Lawn to Kill Creeping Charlie

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Although creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) also is known as ground ivy, it actually is a member of the mint family. Once cultivated for medicinal purposes, creeping Charlie now generally is considered a weed due to its invasive spreading habit. Borax is a boron compound, and used primarily in detergents. It kills creeping Charlie by interfering with the plant’s sugar transportation. Apply the borax solution on a warm day when the creeping Charlie is actively growing.

Practice your spraying technique prior to applying the borax solution. Agents with the University of Minnesota Extension suggest filling the tank sprayer with water and briskly walking the area to be treated, spraying as you go. Pass the wand back and forth over the area to be treated until you get the feel of how much spray it will take to evenly cover the area infested with creeping Charlie, without saturating the surrounding soil.

Dissolve 1 1/4 cup of borax in 1/2 cup of warm water. Pour the mixture into 2 1/2 gallons of water in a tank sprayer.

Spray the creeping Charlie until it is dripping with the solution. Do not water for 48 hours and then water as you normally do. The creeping Charlie should die within one week.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Borax
  • Measuring cups
  • Tank sprayer

Tip

  • This solution will cover 1,000 square feet.

Warnings

  • A stronger solution, or repeated applications of the borax solution, may prove fatal to turfgrass and other plants.
  • If the borax is applied at the rate suggested, the lawn may turn brown around the area of application. According to agents with the University of Minnesota extension, this discoloration is temporary.
  • Use the borax solution once a year for two years. If there still is an infestation of creeping Charlie, consider using a standard herbicide.

About the Author

 

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.