Creeping Charlie (A.K.A. Ground Ivy)

Creeping Charlie, also known as Ground Ivy, is an evergreen creeping weed that is found in the mint family. It is also a nuisance for homeowners that are looking to keep their Kentucky Blue grass lawns looking weed free. If left alone, Creeping Charlie can take over a lawn. If you are trying to identify Creeping Charlie it will have a square stem, paddle shaped leaves, and blue to purple colored flowers.

It was originally brought to North America for its medicinal qualities. It isn’t technically a weed but it is viewed and treated as a one. In some instances this ground covering ivy can look quite beautiful.

Creeping Charlie in bloom

If you have issues with creeping Charlie in your lawn and you want it killed off you can do it yourself. Lawn treatment companies (ie. tru-green) would like you to believe that Creeping Charlie is a menace that is going to destroy your lawn and that they have the only known cure. As a matter of fact I had 3 salesmen at my door arguing with me about how they were the only company that could treat my Creeping Charlie invasion that was occurring on my lawn.

What I told them and what I’ll tell you is that Ortho has a fantastic product that when used correctly can very effectively control Creeping Charlie for a fraction of what it costs to have a chemical treatment company treat your lawn. It comes in a green with purple labeled bottle. It also treats clover, chickweed, and oxalis as well as a number of other weeds. Ortho also has a product called Weed-B-Gon Max that works on Creeping Charlie and on broad leaves like dandelions.

Ortho Weed-B-Gon

It works best to use these products in either a hand-held pump sprayer or a Dial and spray sprayer that you hook up to your hose. Read and follow all directions on the package and give it some time to work. On Creeping Charlie it will take about a week for you to really see any real results. Make sure you don’t over apply the product because it can have an effect on the grass. The best times to apply a killer to Creeping Charlie are in the fall when it starts to go dormant (early October) and also in the spring during or after it flowers. Creeping Charlie is a perennial weed so you may have to do treatments yearly to keep it in check.

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