How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie and Keep It from Coming Back

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie and Keep It from Coming Back

Creeping Charlie is an aggressive weed that prefers moist, partly shaded areas, but it grows almost as well in the sun, spreading quickly into lawns and planting beds. Also called ground ivy, the plant is actually in the mint family, which is known for its tendency to spread.

This shallow-rooted weed also has a minty odor when cut or crushed, square stems, and small, tubular flowers like other mint relatives. Kidney-shaped or rounded leaves with scalloped edges grow low to the ground along vining stems or runners. If you try to pull up this weed, you’ll notice that these stems can root at each node where the leaves attach, making it seem like the plant is hanging on for dear life.

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getting rid of Creeping Charlie weed by placing in bucket

Kelli Jo Emanuel

How to Control Creeping Charlie

Repeated hand-weeding is an option if you’ve spotted creeping Charlie early, but you must remove and destroy every bit of the roots. Don’t add this plant to the compost bin because it could take root there. It’s better to bag it for yard waste pickup.

If creeping Charlie has spread throughout a large area, it can be difficult to control through hand-weeding alone. If it’s taking over a space where you don’t want to grow anything else for at least six months, you can try smothering it under layers of cardboard or sheets of black plastic. If it’s in your lawn, a broadleaf herbicide can be very effective, but it should be applied in early fall so that the plant takes the product down to its roots, weakening it as it goes dormant for winter. The most effective broadleaf herbicide for creeping Charlie contains triclopyr, generally in combination with 2, 4-D, and Dicamba. Standard herbicides without these components won’t work as well.

Test Garden Tip

Always read and follow label directions when using herbicides to avoid harming yourself and the environment.

Some years ago, the application of borax was suggested as a herbicide, but it’s not effective. In addition, applying borax to the soil, even in small amounts, can make the soil less able to support lawn grasses and other desirable plants.

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BHG /Kelli Jo Emanuel

How to Keep Creeping Charlie from Creeping Back

The presence of creeping Charlie signals that the growing conditions for your lawn may need to be addressed. Too much shade, wet soils, or poor fertility could be issues. A healthy stand of turf makes it harder for creeping Charlie to invade your yard, or you may choose to plant a groundcover that performs better than lawn grasses can. Any open areas in your landscape, such as planting beds, can be areas where creeping Charlie pops up. Keep the areas well-mulched to reduce problems with it and other weeds.

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Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.