What You Need to Know about Creeping Charlie
- Creeping Charlie is also known as ground ivy.
- It’s a perennial, evergreen creeper that loves moist, shady areas.
- Spreads by rhizomes (underground stems) and seeds, and forms thick mats in the lawn.
- It's found all across the country, except in the Rocky Mountain states.
- Fun fact: It was used by the ancient Saxons for brewing beer and was brought to this country from Europe for medicinal purposes.
What Does Creeping Charlie Look Like?
Here’s what to look for when identifying creeping Charlie:
- Scalloped leaves that form on the end of long leaf stalks.
- Light blue-purple flowers bloom from late spring to early summer.
- As a member of the mint family, the creeping stems are square.
Creeping Charlie can sometimes be mistaken for wild violet because of their similar flower color and leaves. To tell them apart, look closely at the leaves. If they are heart-shaped with sawtooth-like serrations on the edges, then it’s probably wild violet.
How to Kill Creeping Charlie
Don’t procrastinate when it comes to this resilient, fast-spreading weed. Once you find it, follow these steps to kill creeping Charlie fast.
From a single weed to a small patch of creeping Charlie, you can spot treat it with Ortho® WeedClear™ Lawn Weed Killer Ready-to-Use. It kills listed weeds down to the roots and is rainproof in 1 hour. When used as directed, it kills broadleaf weeds without damaging your lawn.
To control a large creeping Charlie problem in your lawn, use Ortho® WeedClear™ Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate. It can be used with a tank sprayer or connect it to your hose with the Ortho® Dial N Spray® Hose End Sprayer.
How to Prevent Creeping Charlie in Your Lawn
A healthy, maintained lawn is the first defense against weeds. Here’s what to do to help keep creeping Charlie from reappearing:
Feed your grass. A well-fed lawn grows thick and is better able to crowd out weeds and prevent weed seeds from germinating by blocking sunlight's access to the soil.
Repair bare spots. Bald spots in your lawn are prime real estate for weeds to move in. Whether from heavy foot traffic, drought, grubs, or disease, watch for thinning areas in your lawn and repair them quickly.
Mow high. Tall grass shades the soil which helps block the necessary sunlight that weeds need to germinate.
Overseed annually. A dense lawn will help block out weeds naturally. You can help make your lawn thicker by overseeding in the spring or fall.