Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie Identification & Control

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 Midwest, 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 in lawn

Ground Ivy 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 its liking shady places makes it very competitive in lawns.

Ground Ivy Weed Control Measures

Natural control

The best way to control Ground Ivy is a thick, healthy lawn. For this weed to spread the seeds need to come in contact with the ground and have direct light, but keeping your lawn long and thick prevents this cycle from repeating.

Ground ivy prefers a moist, shady area with low fertility to grow.

Ground Ivy, Common Lawn Weed

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.


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

Weed Images

Ground Ivy or Creeping Charlie
Lawn weed identification of ground ivy or creeping charlie

Ground Ivy Weed Identification Description

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.

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