Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea).

Creeping Charlie is also known as Ground Ivy. It is a perennial aggressive weed that flowers in early spring and summer, and very difficult to control once it gets a foothold.

Ground ivy is a low growing perennial weed commonly found in lawns and landscape beds. This shallow-rooted weed has a minty odour when you crush or cut it, and has kidney-shaped or rounded leaves with scalloped edges that grow low to the ground in a creeping cover formation. The stems can root at each leaf node.

 After you finish reading this, you will be able to:

  • Identify Creeping Charlie.
  • Know the habitat of Ground Ivy.
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to control Creeping Charlie.

 

For more information, please check out our weed ID chart. Creeping Charlie is a good indicator weed of wet soils and turf under stress.

 

Ground Ivy Identification.

Creeping Charlie spreads aggressively to form dense patches by both seeds and creeping stems that root at the nodes. .

Category: broadleaf (Dicot).

Flower: Flowers are tubular and appear blue/purple in colour. They are often found in 3 to 7 clusters, and appear from April to June..

Height: Prostrate

Leaf Length:

Leaf Width: The leaves are 6 to 37 mm in diameter

Reproduction: Ground ivy reproduces in the Summer and Autumn by seed and also by rooting on its creeping stems.

Comments:  Stems are square (four-sided).

Habitat: Creeping Charlie is an aggressive weed that prefers moist, partly shaded areas, but it grows almost as well in the sun, spreading quickly into turf areas and flower beds.

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
Creeping Charlie or Ground Weed
Creeping Charlie
 

How to remove Creeping Charlie from your lawn.

Ground ivy can be difficult to control, and it thrives in moist, shady spots such as under trees and shrubs. If you can alter these conditions, it will be easier to discourage this weed.
 
 
 

 

Cultural control of Creeping Charlie.

If the turf area is under stress, adjust your cultural practices to improve turf health and density (so mow at the correct height, fertilize and water properly etc.).

Adopting correct N nitrogen fertilization practices (≥ 0.5Kg N/100 m2) are known to reduce Creeping Charlie compared to non-fertilized turf (Kohler et al., 2004)

Keep in mind that although it prefers shade, Creeping Charlie also grows in full-sun areas.

If you see Ground Ivy early, remove and destroy every bit of the roots. Don’t add this plant to the compost bin because it can take root there, so. It’s best to remove waste off-site. If Creeping Charlie has spread throughout a large area, it is difficult to control through hand-weeding alone.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Chemical control.

First off chemical conrtol of Ground Ivy is variable and takes time. The best time to treat Creeping Charlie with postemergents, is when it is translocating carbohydrates deep underground in the Autumn. Repeated applications over multiple seasons will be needed for complete control.

Although not registered in Australia for control, Isoxaben stops the growth and development of stolons. Prodiamine, Pendimethalin and Dithiopyr don’t work.

Post-emergent chemical control of Ground Ivy is best in the Autumn, and aim to use a weed killer that contains Dicamba (not registerd in Australia for this). This is often in combination products like ProForce Contra M. For best results, make a second application 3 to 4 weeks later.

If it reappears again in the spring, spray again. Ground Ivy is very suscptible to herbicides when it is in bloom. Again, a second application may be necessary.

In the US, Pylex Herbicide is registered for Ground Ivy control.

US work shows that 2,4-D Amine does also work on Creeping Charlie (Kohler et al 2004) although timing, rate and formulation all play a role in the results.

Non selective options include Glyphosate (Rapid Fire 800). If you use this and water quality is an issue then we recommend the use of ProForce Manta Ray.