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