How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie Ground Ivy

Updated on April 30, 2019
Matt G. profile image

I had a creeping charlie infestation in my lawn once, but I was able to get rid of the plant, using a couple different methods.

Creeping Charlie weeds.
Creeping Charlie weeds.

How to Control Creeping Charlie

Creeping charlie is a type of ground ivy that blooms clusters of small purple flowers in the spring. While the flowers might look nice, the plant can totally ruin a beautiful lawn if neglected. Within a few months, the roots spread over a lawn, choking the grass until it can no longer grow.

I had a creeping charlie infestation in my lawn once, but I was able to get rid of the plant, using a couple different methods. The key is to control the weed in early spring before it has a chance to spread or drop seeds for new growth. I suggest using a combination of the methods described below.

Method #1: Pull Ground Ivy Out By Hand

Nobody enjoys pulling weeds, but for those who don't want to spray chemicals in their lawn, it's an effective way to get rid of the weed. Even if a creeping charlie herbicide is used, the chemicals won't kill every single weed in the yard. Living parts of the plant will remain and should be removed by hand.

A de-thatching rake works well for removing dead, dried up ground ivy. Make sure you rake out the entire plant, including the roots, or it could grow back. Pulling ground ivy out by hand is actually pretty easy. Unlike dandelions, which have a deep root, creeping charlie roots are shallow and can be pulled out easily without a spade.

Method #2: Plant Grass Seed and Fertilize

Unhealthy, thin grass is what allows creeping charlie to spread more easily over a lawn. Improving the quality of the grass will help prevent the weed from worsening or returning after removal.

After eradicating creeping charlie weeds from my lawn, there were many bare spots where the weed had prevented the grass from growing. My grass was thin to begin with, which had allowed the weed to flourish and takeover, but after planting grass seed and applying fertilizer, new grass filled in the bare spots.

Aerating your lawn and cutting the grass high, allows grass to grow thicker to prevent the weed from growing. Be consistent with a fertilizing schedule.

Method #3: Use Herbicide

Re-applying a broadleaf herbicide killed most of the creeping charlie invading my grass. I used the bottles that fasten to the garden hose. Not all herbicides kill this plant though. I tried at least four different products, but the two that worked best are Spectracide Weed Stop and Trimec. Both of these products contain higher concentrations of the chemical dicamba, which kills the invasive weed.

One application is not enough to kill this plant. Creeping charlie herbicide should be sprayed on the weed in early spring when its purple flowers bloom. Within a few days after applying the herbicide, the flowers, leaves and stems turn brown and the plant shrivels. The chemical should be applied again in the summer and late fall to prevent the plant from growing come spring.

The grass should not be cut for at least three days after applying herbicide. After each mowing, the shriveled weeds became smaller and eventually crumble into the ground.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • It is nearly July & I discovered that creeping Charlie has invaded my flower garden. What can I do?

    To remove Creeping Charlie from a flower garden, the best method is to remove the weed by hand. Pulling weeds isn't fun, but spraying herbicide will harm your flowers. The roots grow in long strands near the surface and pull out very easily.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Seth Burris 

      21 months ago

      Should use 5 oz of Borax per 1 gallon of water cut with lawn mower so the tops of ground ivy or creeping Charlie have open cuts. Then buy a hand held bottle adjust it to the fine mist passion and spray the effected area of your lawn with the ivy . Ivy will start to brown and leaves curl up and die . give this about a week then revisit the area in case you missed some and repeat the application . Safe around flowers and gardens BUT DO NOT USE MORE THAN 5 OZ PER GALLON OF WATER OR YOU WILL KILL YOUR GRASS AND OTHER PLANTS .

    • Matt G. profile imageAUTHOR

      Matt G. 

      21 months ago from United States

      Both products I link to in the article will stop creeping charlie without killing your grass. I apply them in early spring when the plant starts flowering and again in late fall. Sometimes I'll spray it again over the summer. You do need to reapply the herbicide every year. If you're over applying the chemicals you're using that might be the reason it's harming your grass, or it's not the right product for creeping charlie.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      I have "Charlie" BIG TIME in my lawn and every thing I have used on it has killer my lawn


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)