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How to Kill Ground Ivy

Some gardeners call this active lawn weed ground ivy and others call it creeping charlie. Regardless of what you call it, controlling this obnoxious weed in a landscape will challenge the most experienced gardener. Because ground ivy is resistant to many broadleaf weed killers, you must carefully select the product you use to kill ground ivy. Timing your weed killer application is also important to produce the most effective eradication results.

Set the lawn mower to keep your grass at a height of 3 inches. When grass is longer, it will be stronger and better able to compete against ground ivy.

Pull small areas of ground ivy as you find it growing throughout the growing season. It is best to control ground ivy as it appears to prevent it from getting a stronghold in a landscape. Use a trowel to dig the ground ivy out of the soil by its roots.

Spray the weed killer onto the foliage of the ground ivy sometime in the autumn after a frost has occurred. At this time of the year, the ground ivy is preparing for winter by sending reserve energy down to the roots. By applying the weed killer now, the plant will naturally carry the weed killer down to the roots more quickly. Saturate the entire growing area, including the soil and the foliage.

Consult the package recommendations for the timing for a second application. Apply the weed killer a second time based on the package directions.


Fertilize your lawn regularly to keep it strong and healthy. Time your weed killer application for a period when the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees F with no rain in the forecast. Mow the grass three days prior to applying the weed killer and then wait for at least three days afterward to mow again. Choose a day with no wind so the weed killer does not float to other plantings. Expect that you will need to pull additional ground ivy during the next growing season and you may have to repeat the weed killer application as well.


Wear protective clothing when you apply the weed killer. Wear long pants, long sleeves and gardening gloves. Remove pets and children from the application area.

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