Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie

Lawn Weed Identification & Control Tips

How to identify and manage Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) often called Creeping Charlie, a very aggressive lawn weed that is difficult to control when established in lawns. Photos are included to help with weed id.

It has low growing, creeping stems that form new plants where they root at the nodes. This creeping/spreading nature along with it liking shady places makes it very competitive in lawns.

Creeping Charlie has a minty smell when mowed or crushed. It is edible - some enjoy it in salads - and used in alternative medicines.

Found in lawns throughout the United States. It grows well in shady areas and thrives in cool weather. In some parts of the mid-west, it is considered to be the most common and difficult lawn weed to control.

It is a spreading perennial that is often misidentified as Common Mallow and Henbit.

Ground Ivy, Common Lawn Weed

Weed Control

A moist, shady area with low fertility will favor creeping charlie growth over many lawn grasses.

Weed Images

More pictures of Ground Ivy

Lawn weed ID Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie
Glechoma hederacea Flower
Image By Kaldari [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Lawn weed identification of ground ivy or creeping charlie© Public Domain
Lawn weeds ground ivy or creeping charlie color illustration© Public Domain

Hand Weeding - This is a very difficult weed to pull because it roots along the nodes...breaking off and then re-growing. Creeping Charlie usually wins this battle.

Chemical Control - The best time to control creeping charlie with a broadleaf herbicide is fall and in the spring - when it is flowering. Combination products of 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP/MCPA work better than 2,4-D alone. Triclopyr-based products are even more effective than 2,4-D products.

Characteristics:

  • Winter perennial
  • Bright green, round, kidney-shaped leaves on long petioles with round scalloped edges
  • Square, creeping stems that root at nodes
  • Bluish-purple flowers
  • Fibrous root system
  • Has a minty smell when mowed

Weed Identification

Leaves - Arranged opposite along the stem on long petioles, round to kidney-shaped. They are dark green and sometimes tinted purple. The leaf margins have large rounded teeth.

Stems - Square stems that root at the nodes.

Roots - Fibrous root system.

The blue to violet flowers appear in May. They occur in clusters of three and are 3/8 to 5/16 inch long.

Creeping Charlie


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