• Call (800) 479-6583
  • Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
  • |
  • Sat 9am-5pm

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie


Ground Ivy, also known by the name of Creeping Charlie, is a perennial plant of the Lamiaceae family. The mint plant is known for its herbal properties as Europeans had also brought it to North America. When you sense a minty smell in your garden, that is probably Creeping Charlie slowly creeping somewhere and spreading to the rest of the garden. 

The plant infestation can be damaging to the garden because creeping Charlie spreads from the seed and stem. The leaves grow on the nodes or stems and if they get access to the soil, they start developing roots, stem by stem, gradually spreading to the other plants. You would notice that the green leaves seem like kidneys and have square-shaped stems. The flowers grow to about 1 cm in length and produce four seeds each. Creeping Charlie is found in blue and purple colors and grows in wet or shady environments.   

What makes it a nuisance is that it spreads to other plants, if uncontrolled and is challenging to remove. The roots are closely attached to each other and if they are taken out in broken pieces, some roots may get left behind and re-grow. When they are cut, they emanate a minty odor.

It is better to take immediate action when you spot one of these in your garden because that is less exhaustive than having to deal with an entire vegetation of Creeping Charlie. Furthermore, when you do come across one, you may want to evaluate the health of your vegetation and soil. Consider whether those parts of the garden.

The damage that it causes is that even if you attempt to pull it out, it can easily spread from the roots, seeds or rhizomes. When pulling them out, often a node gets left behind and can produce a new plant, ready to attack your plantation. Therefore, it is better to begin the treatment immediately and take preventive measures before you are forced to replace your entire garden.

Don’t let sunlight reach it

You would usually find Creeping Charlie in shady areas or those portions of the garden that retain moisture. The plant, obviously like other plants, needs sunlight to grow. Therefore, block all sunlight from reaching it and it dies. Then you can remove the plant.

Identify the areas of your garden where Creeping Charlie has spread. Cover those areas with thick cloth or cardboards; remember, don’t let even mild sunlight reach the plant. Let it dehydrate and die. Apparently, you can risk losing a few plants surrounding Creeping Charlie and once you remove the dead plants, replant the area with new soil and seeds.

In order to push the cloth to ground level or prevent it from being toppled over, place rocks or stones to hold it in place. Keep a check on those areas to see whether the plant has died.

Remove the plant with a rake, deep from the roots so that it does not grow back.

Weed it out

This is a quick solution if you want to avoid the herbicide treatment. It’s also better to treat small garden this way or when you have only a few plants. Herbicides would be useless because they provide only a temporary solution by killing the plant on the surface but not at the roots; thus, letting it re-grow from the roots.

Furthermore, before going about the task, wear glove to avoid allergic reactions, itchiness and skin rashes then discard the gloves after usage. If a rake pulls out other beneficial plants, you could try pulling the plant by hand.

In that case, you would also have to remain persistent in checking on the plant and pulling it every few days. It might continue to grow if the stems and rhizomes get left behind.

Even mowing the lawn could cause the plant to spread to other plants.

Borax treatment

This is done by mixing borax with water and applying it on the plant. Check the labels first as too much of it can cause boron toxicity.

Borax solution needs to be blended with four ounces water, which should then be mixed in 3 gallons of water. Sprinkle the mixture on an area of 1000 square feet.

Use di-camba

A few herbicides have Dicamba Plus 2,4-D Herbicide properties that can work in eliminating Creeping Charlie if used at the right time. Moreover, if you have to use this treatment, avoid mowing the lawn three days before and after the application. Whenever new leaves come out, they will absorb the solution.

Creeping Charlie comes out in autumn; thus, di-camba needs to be applied at the beginning of the season to thwart growth of the plant throughout the winter season.

If nothing else, rebuild your garden

This goes for situations when Creeping Charlie has spread to the rest of the garden, damaging your vegetation and soil. Remove all plants and soil using herbicides. Let the solution sink in and the plants wither. After a week of the treatment, replant the garden.

You may not have Creeping Charlie in your own garden; however, it’s an invasive plant so it can spread to your plants from other gardens. It’s better not to neglect it and take measure to pull it out before it ruins the health of your garden.

Solutions Pest & Lawn can Help With Creeping Charlie Issues

If Creeping Charlie keeps coming back despite your DIY efforts, you may have no choice but to use a chemical to permanently get rid of this invasive weed. We suggest Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate to get solid control of creeping Charlie.


Creeping Charlie can be a difficult weed to completely get rid of from a lawn once it is established. We hope our tips and product recommendations can help you to eliminate creeping Charlie for good. For more helpful lawn care information, call us at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us online.


There are no products matching the selection.

Contact Us