How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie—Glechoma hederacea, besides normally known as ground ivy—is an insidious weed that is both bouncy and adaptable, making it identical unmanageable to control. A member of the mint syndicate, in early spring it will quickly fill an vacate outer space with a mat-like cover of small, round, scalloped-edged park leaves punctuated with delicate lilac-blue flowers. It ’ s actually quite pretty, and you frequently see Variegata, its variegated ( and far less encroaching ) cousin, sold in nurseries as a ground traverse or cascading makeweight for planters. But don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be charmed ! Left to its own devices, Creeping Charlie can cursorily take over landscaping beds, flush a lawn. It grows depleted to the ground in a vining habit, killing everything else around it. It thrives in damp and fishy areas, where denounce and other plants don ’ triiodothyronine develop well. If you see it, act fast, or you will have a hard battle late. One of these tried-and-true methods for how to get rid of Creeping Charlie should solve your landscaping trouble .Bob Vila and its parent company, Recurrent Ventures, put conservation and sustainability at the forefront of nearly everything we do. Though effective, some of the solutions offered in this content are not organic or sustainable. Bob Vila’s staff encourages readers to make informed choices about maintaining their home and property. Always start with the least extreme, escalating only if necessary, and prioritize solutions that will not have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of this planet and its inhabitants. Though effective, some of the solutions offered in this content are not organic or sustainable. Bob Vila ’ s staff encourages readers to make inform choices about maintaining their home and property. Always start with the least extreme, escalating only if necessity, and prioritize solutions that will not have damaging effects on the health and longevity of this satellite and its inhabitants .

Before You Begin

While the best room to control Creeping Charlie is to avoid planting it, there are respective ways to get rid of Creeping Charlie if it ’ south already taken accommodate. Some are more effective than others and some require more physical work or prison term, then solitaire helps you prevail. Dealing with incursive plants is like dealing with worm pests : depart with the method acting that ’ second least likely to upset the delicate symmetry of soil, plant, and animal life ; then get a little tough incrementally until you can declare victory.

ad When implementing any of the methods below, choose a day with no or light breeze ; this helps prevent drift of any sprays or of the seeds on the plants you pull. Be surely to wear gloves and retentive sleeves when pulling these weeds, since they can cause an itchy rash when handled. security of the hands, arms, legs, and eyes is specially essential if you end up using chemical applications. once you get rid of Creeping Charlie, replace the scraggy ground brood with native alternatives or grasses that tolerate shade .

How to Remove Creeping Charlie by Hand

manual removal is not recommended for large patches of Creeping Charlie. The undertaking will take far excessively long, and consequence in minimal success since this perennial pot spreads by seeds, rhizomes, and creeping stems that can root where they lie. For exercise, you might pull up the root, but if the plant already flowered and seeded, you precisely might give those new seeds a soft place to take restrain following class. But if you see a plant or two here or there, you can get rid of it with your own two hands quite effectively. SUPPLIES – Gardening gloves
– Shovel
– Hand cultivator
– Knee launching pad
– Lawn barren disposal bag
– Watering can
– Garden hose

STEP 1: Prune Creeping Charlie to expose the roots.

Don retentive sleeves and timbre but thin gardening gloves. Creeping Charlie can cause skin aggravation and itch ; some people are even allergic to it. then, prune the weed by cutting off any loose vines not rooted to the ground. This will expose the areas where you need to pull and dig out the weeds. Grab a kneed pad, if you like, for better comfort .

STEP 2: Grasp the plant by the roots and pull it out.

If the flat coat is hard and dry, watering the area first to soften it will make for easier yank. If the roots are particularly deep, loosen the dirty around them with a rooting joyride or agriculturist. As you pull, put plants immediately in a disposal base ; do not leave them lying approximately. ad

STEP 3: Make sure that you’ve removed all root pieces from the soil.

When you ’ ve removed all the Creeping Charlie in sight, shot through the territory with your hands or a agriculturist to ensure you ’ ve gotten any root pieces that have broken off, since they will regenerate and you ’ ll be right back where you started. Any little bits of the plant left behind, or that go contrary, are bound to reseed themselves. RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Weeding Tools

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie by Smothering It

how to get rid of creeping charlie ad You can banish a larger Creeping Charlie temporary hookup by depriving it of sunlight for an carry period. Remember, this weed thrives in shade, so you ’ ll want to cover it and block the sun out wholly for this method acting to be effective. Be mindful that any other plants mixed in with the Creeping Charlie will besides die, so use this method acting either where Creeping Charlie has taken over or where you are uncoerced to reseed grass or other plants after the weed is gone. SUPPLIES – Cardboard
– Newspaper
– Tarp
– Rocks or bricks
– Gloves
– Hand cultivator or stapes hoe
– Lawn waste disposal udder

STEP 1: Completely cover the patch of Creeping Charlie to block sunlight.

Cover the Creeping Charlie with a barrier of newspaper, tarpaulin, or cardboard to wholly block sunlight. Extend the coverage 6 to 12 inches beyond the vines and leaves, as the roots underneath the land can reach promote out from what ’ s above them on the background. Weigh the brood down with rocks or bricks to keep it from blowing or shifting back and allowing light to reach the plants .

STEP 2: Wait at least a week.

It may take a week—or long, depending on your land conditions—to smother the Creeping Charlie. Take a peek under the tarpaulin at the week mark ; if there ’ s any green leave, replace the cover for another respective days. When Creeping Charlie is shriveled and brown, it ’ mho good and dead !

STEP 3: Remove the dead Creeping Charlie by hand.

Pull the Creeping Charlie out of the land and discard of it as you would in the hand-pulling method acting. Use a hand-held agriculturist or a stirrup hoe, depending on the size of the area and your willingness to work it on hands and knees. It ought to come out much more easily once dead, and skipping this gradation could allow Creeping Charlie to grow back from any surviving nodes and roots. ad

Natural Methods for Getting Rid of Creeping Charlie 

Pulling or smothering Creeping Charlie might address a large problem, but inevitably some roots or seeds sneak back into your landscape. If pulling or smothering doesn ’ triiodothyronine finish the job, many gardeners adjacent turn to an organic solution or DIY approach—and with luck, they don ’ t have to resort to harmful herbicides. We ’ ve listed the pros, cons, and lotion methods for two alternatives below .


– Spray bottle or garden sprayer
– Gloves
– Protective eyewear
– White vinegar or organic citrus anoint

OPTION 1: Spray Creeping Charlie with vinegar for limited results.

many gardeners hear about the weed-killing properties of vinegar and turn to it based on the belief that it does no damage. While surely more eco-friendly than herbicides, vinegar can harm bees and other significant pollinators. It besides can damage surrounding grass, so think doubly before using it if the Creeping Charlie is mixed in with grass you don ’ metric ton want to kill. And although you will see browning of leaves and stems, vinegar does not kill roots, so it is less effective against invaders like Creeping Charlie. If you want to try this approach, you will have to apply vinegar many times to see results, following these steps :

  • Mix 2 cups of white vinegar with 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the leaves and stems thoroughly, preferably on a sunny day with little wind.
  • Watch every couple of days to see when growth returns.
  • Spray the greening areas again and repeat as needed.

horticultural vinegar is more concentrate ( at 20 percentage acidity vs. 6 to 11 percentage for distinctive ) and a little more effective. however, horticultural vinegar is highly corrosive to skin and eyes, much like herbicides, and necessitates the exploiter wearing proper auspices. You might have to contact a local reference office or exchangeable service to find horticultural vinegar.


OPTION 2: Use a natural organic citrus oil.

Since the DIY options are limited, the beginning step to take in applying any weed killer whale should be to choose an organic solution. Most of these natural formulas include citric acids or citrus oil ( anoint is less harmful to bees ). Those that besides contain iron can be more effective on a broadleaf pot like Creeping Charlie. Although organic approaches still kill entirely expose leaves, not roots, they are safe to apply again according to the directions and are not harmful to the soil and environment. These weed killers tend to dissipate more cursorily than the often-touted Borax and smell better than vinegar. Try a liaison killer with natural ingredients, like one made by Avenger Organics. Take these basic steps, always following the package directions for desegregate and using the centralize :

  • Put on long sleeves, gloves, and goggles to avoid splatter with acetic or citric acid.
  • Mix the concentrate with water, using the suggested ratio of one part weed killer to three parts water for these hard-to-control weeds.
  • Fill a spray bottle or garden sprayer with the shaken solution.
  • Spray directly on leaves until they are thoroughly and evenly covered.
  • Reapply if large weeds begin to regrow.

Think twice about using Borax, a common household cleaner.

Boron, sold as Borax, is a laundry soap made of a naturally occurring chemical ( sodium tetraborate ). Although a few studies have stated it is effective at eradicating Creeping Charlie, results are mix, and the solution can injure healthy plants nearby. The boron does not dissipate like vinegar does. Borax must be mix with water and applied no more than once a year for two years. It leaves little room for error if you have plants around the area you treat. Most of all, it is not approved for pot dominance, and applying it to Creeping Charlie in your lawn could be illegal. ad

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Using Herbicide

If Creeping Charlie has infiltrated your lawn, you can ’ t very good smother it without killing your denounce. It will besides be about impossible to pull out manually, since it will be entangled with the roots of your turf. Stumped on how to get rid of Creeping Charlie on your property ? The right herbicide might work best, but heed this admonitory : many of these implant poisons are not selective. many ( specially glyphosate ) kill whatever they touch, not fair weeds, so read product labels cautiously and choose a broadleaf herbicide containing triclopyr, a chemical that will kill Creeping Charlie from root up, but not harm your turf grass. Of course, your lawn is one thing, but other safety issues lead to recommendations of herbicides as the last recourse in your weed wars. Although the FDA has approved use of triclopyr, it does have a low to moderate toxicity evaluation for people and wildlife, depending on the imprint and come of exposure. For case, the ester shape can cause eye annoyance. Most herbicides are unhealthy for children who play on spray lawns, and large-scale practice of the products can increase risk for diverse illnesses such as cancer in children and pets. In addition, herbicides like triclopyr can enter groundwater and waterways, potentially contaminating drinking urine supplies and harming fish and other invertebrates. Be surely to look at the other active ingredients when purchasing herbicides with triclopyr. Some products are interracial with evening more toxic chemicals like “ 2, 4-D, ” so avoid those. Dicamba besides can help control Creeping Charlie, but will only suppress it, proving about deoxyadenosine monophosphate effective as the natural controls above. It ’ s besides been shown to be one of the most volatile herbicides ; it can transform from a liquid to a vaporization in warm temperatures. If it drifts through your landscape, dicamba can kill other plants. thus, if you have to resort to an herbicide, go with the most effective choice—triclopyr. ad SUPPLIES – Gloves
– Long-sleeved shirt
– Work pants
– Protective eyewear
– Garden sprayer
– Broadleaf herbicide with triclopyr

STEP 1: For best results, use herbicide a day before or after the first frost.

You can spray Creeping Charlie with herbicide anytime during the growing season, but it will be most effective if you treat it in the descend, when it ’ sulfur prepare for winter quiescence. Spray right field ahead or right after the foremost frost, and it will store the herbicide along with its winter nutrients. If you spray earlier, be sure to spray once again before winter. Your best chance of eliminating Creeping Charlie is to weaken it going into the cold season .

STEP 2: Don protective gear and prep your herbicide.

Put on protective gloves, clothing, and eyewear. Mix the herbicide in a garden atomizer according to the manufacturer ’ mho directions. If you get the herbicide on your clothes, it is best to dispose of them .

STEP 3: Concentrate the spray on the Creeping Charlie.

Spray the herbicide on the Creeping Charlie, being careful to soak all the leaves, while avoiding nearby garden plants ( early than grass ) equally much as possible. storehouse or discard of any remaining spray according to the manufacturer ’ second directions. Do not mow for at least two days after spraying, so that the chemicals can be absorbed down into the roots of the plant .

STEP 4: Maintain your lawn to prevent the return of ground ivy.

Control regrowth of Creeping Charlie retentive term by preventing it from growing in the first place. A thick, goodly lawn of turf grass is inhospitable to weeds—there ’ s just no room for them. Maintaining your lawn ’ s overall health will ensure Creeping Charlie, and early annoying weeds, can ’ t get a bridgehead .

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of Creeping Charlie is not fun or slowly, but it is possible. You ’ ll have more achiever if you try any of the suggest methods—hand-pulling, smothering, DIY and organic controls, or broadleaf herbicides—on young plants. so don ’ thymine put it off. ad cultural control—increasing the ability of other plants to compete with weeds like Creeping Charlie—is your best bet for prevention of the pot in the first position or after clearing an area of it. Planting more appropriate, less incursive alternatives that can handle the lapp growing conditions can control the weed in the most eco-friendly way by competing with it. For exemplar, plant shade-tolerant grasses that can compete with the weed and keep it from taking over. Ground cover alternatives include amobarbital sodium phlox ( Phlox divaricata ) or common blue violet ( Viola sororia ). Or, once you rid an area of Creeping Charlie, add landscape framework, mulch, and native plants that will grow in shade. If you have to resort to using chemicals, be certain to follow all safety information on the merchandise or from local extension experts. This will help keep you, your family, pets, plants, and the environment safe.

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