Is Creeping Charlie in your lawn a good thing or a bad thing?

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Is there a sure-fire way to get rid of Creeping Charley?
is creeping charlie in your lawn a good thing or a bad thing, gardening, landscape, For years I have pulled it out by hand but it comes back faster than I can pull it
For years, I have pulled it out by hand, but it comes back faster than I can pull it!
is creeping charlie in your lawn a good thing or a bad thing, gardening, landscape, My neighbor s step mother was visiting from Iowa She leaned on the fence glanced down at my lawn and screamed Creeping Charlie
My neighbor's step-mother was visiting from Iowa. She leaned on the fence, glanced down at my lawn and screamed, "Creeping Charlie!!!"
is creeping charlie in your lawn a good thing or a bad thing, gardening, landscape, It is kind of sort of pretty
It is kind of, sort of pretty.
is creeping charlie in your lawn a good thing or a bad thing, gardening, landscape, Takeover
Takeover!
  83 answers
  • Kris Lee Kris Lee on Jul 04, 2013
    I used to grow creeping charlie in the house as a houseplant and it is really pretty. But in my yard,not so much. Not sure how to get rid of it. .....Good luck

    • Patricia Patricia on Apr 20, 2020

      My husband and I spent one summer digging them all out with shovels. It left the entire yard pock marked. Never did that again

  • Becky P Becky P on Jul 04, 2013
    I hate that stuff! I just spray it with weed killer.

    • See 3 previous
    • Francis Francis on May 17, 2020

      I was advised to use boiling salt water worked so far

  • Judy Judy on Jul 04, 2013
    I found this...borax to kill it without killing grass...not sure how it will work, but there's instructions. http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h519borax.html

  • Darlene Zeutzius Darlene Zeutzius on Jul 04, 2013
    thank you Judy, I will be trying this myself this weekend. It has taken over my entire back yard. I will test a small area.

  • Mary Sullivan Mary Sullivan on Jul 05, 2013
    Thank you Judy! I will give this a shot.

  • Peg Peg on Jul 05, 2013
    No, you do not want it in your lawn! It will crowd out the grass, it's very invasive. Creeping Charlie or ground ivy, from the mint family. You can use a broad leaf herbicide but only on the lawn, make sure you don't use it too close to trees and flower gardens. Keep pulling it out by hand!

  • Kelley Aho Phillips Kelley Aho Phillips on Jul 05, 2013
    I have in my lawn and in my garden beds. I'm constantly yanking them out lol. Luckily they're easy to pull.

  • Lawn Pro Lawn Pro on Jul 05, 2013
    It's a weed a herbicides will get rid of it.

    • Suzanne Suzanne on Apr 20, 2021

      I have tried every herbicide out there, nothing touches it. It's not a weed It's a very nasty plant..

  • Judy Johnson Wilson Judy Johnson Wilson on Jul 05, 2013
    That's just it Kelley, it's not easy to get rid of because when u pull it, you only get a small amount of the root. Which then continues to grow more of the same headache. If you want to get rid of it for good, you need to dig out the root, or when using pesticide, shoot very close to the ground to get the root not so much the plant itself.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 06, 2013
    You have to use a herbicide more than one year to get rid of it. Use this link, it would pertain to anyone. http://theiowagardener.com/Creeping_charlie.html

  • Shelly Shelly on Jul 06, 2013
    I just got done ripping this sucker out of my flower beds this morning, Now I know what it is called. Thank you : )

  • Marilee H Marilee H on Jul 06, 2013
    Keep trying to get it out! Broadleaf weed killer, pulling, anything else anyone else suggests. This stuff will take over!

  • Barbara Little Barbara Little on Jul 06, 2013
    Ground ivy reminds me of my childhood - we had it growing beside the house under some shrubs which was a favorite hide-and-seek spot. Whenever I smell it, I am taken back to those carefree days. I'm glad I live in the country where the perfect lawn isn't a must. I much prefer a mixture of clover, ground ivy, violets, and grasses to herbicides!

    • Kathy C Kathy C on May 06, 2017
      I am with you Barbara, love that I live in the country and do not require a perfect lawn. I actually have fallen in love with this little ivy. Love this tiny little flowers it gets. To each his own, as they say.

  • Sondra A Sondra A on Jul 06, 2013
    I wouldn't mind the creeping charlie so much if it stayed in the lawn, but it also wraps itself around my raspberry bushes, sneaks into my garden and every where else. I have been pulling it out for a couple years now. The first time I did, I had a pile on my lawn that I intended to get back to but it rained and all the pulled charlie rooted itself. aaaagh! So now I make sure to pick up every little piece and either throw it in the burn pile or the garbage can. The problem that I have with using borax is that I have a dog, couple cats, and there are rabbits and squirrels that run through my yard. If it is toxic to them then that is not an option.

  • Stella Love Stella Love on Jul 06, 2013
    The best thing to get rid of it is Crossbow herbacide

  • Kelley Aho Phillips Kelley Aho Phillips on Jul 06, 2013
    I use the herbicide on the lawn, but I don't in the garden. Too much risk to the plants. I just keep pulling and pulling. I have that and Snow on the Mountain. I've managed to contain both for the most part to one corner now, but it's taken me about 3 years of constant pulling by hand. I've had no trouble getting most out by the root, though. A few break, but most come pretty easily.

  • Mary Mary on Jul 06, 2013
    Yank it out wherever you see it and use a post emergent herbicide in the fall. It is the absolute toughest weed to get rid of, so keep vigilant. It will kill off your grass and take over the whole lawn if you let it.

  • Deb Schroer Deb Schroer on Jul 06, 2013
    You are going to be so surprised by this! It is edible! http://altnature.com/gallery/Ground_Ivy.htm Properties Medicinal and edible, a light taste very agreeable in salads. Ground ivy is used in alternative medicine and is an excellent spring tonic, it is an appetite stimulant. It contains a volatile oil which aids in relieving congestion and inflammation of mucous membranes associated with colds, flu, and sinusitis. It is Anti-allergenic, Antibacterial, Anti-flu, Antihistaminic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Cancer-Preventive, Expectorant, Immuno-stimulant, and Sedative. Ground ivy tea or juice is well tolerated and can be given to small children. Some of the most valuable plant constituents are 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, apigenin, beta-sitosterol, borneol, caffeic-acid, ferulic-acid, hyperoside, iodine, luteolin, menthol, oleanolic-acid, rosmarinic-acid, rutin, ursolic-acid. Ground-Ivy is being studied for use in preventing Leukemia, Bronchitis, Hepatitis, many kinds of cancer, and HIV. The fresh juice or a medicinal tea is used to treat digestive disorders, gastritis, acid indigestion, and diarrhea. It is also beneficial for liver and kidney function, said to relieve gravel and stones. Although results are not conclusive it is being used as an antidote for lead poisoning. Added to bath as an emollient to soften skin and has a sedative effect. Folklore Ground ivy has a long history of use in alternative medicine and as an edible herb, dating back to the first century A.D. it was long considered a panacea (cure-all). Known for it’s hi vitamin C content it is said to be one of the first herb and edible plants brought to the North American continent by early settlers. Recipes Spring Tonic: Steep 2 tsp. of fresh or dried herb in 1 cup water for 10 min. flavor with peppermint or honey to taste take in ½ cup doses twice a day. Colds and flu: Express fresh juice with press. Take in 1 tsp. doses 3 times a day, ½ tsp. for children. Use 2 or 3 drops in nose twice a day for sinusitis. Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron

  • Jenny Jenny on Jul 06, 2013
    Wow! This stuff IS my back yard. I have pulled and weeded! I had know idea it was medicinal!

  • Paula Landua Paula Landua on Jul 06, 2013
    Glad to know what it is called. I fight it in my yard all the time, as I live where a creek runs right behind my property and it's impossible to get completely rid, due to over running of the creek with the heavy rains bringing seeds and planting them in my yard. They will choke out everything else if not kept under control.

  • Kathie Kathie on Jul 06, 2013
    I don't think the Ground Ivy is exactly the same thing....Creeping Charlie is a pest and we have it in neighbors yard on both sides of us. I do pull it whenever I see it...I love to find a piece in the yard and gently tug it and follow it just to see how far it goes! It pulls easily...just think of it as a hobby..."Finding the Creeping Charlie"!

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 06, 2013
    It is invasive chocking out and killing trees. If you have found it within the last five years dig the roots out. We do control burns, and chemical burns to get rid of it in our state. If you could see our tree's, hiking trails, lakes, rivers we are being chocked out by this and kudzu. It is making our beautiful State Ugly! They used this for erroision and created a giant monster.

  • Betty Brady Betty Brady on Jul 06, 2013
    This looks to me to be common mallow. Is that also called "creeping Charlie?" Common mallow has a taproot, makes flowers, and is edible except for the root. I can tell you one thing, whatever it is I would not use an herbicide. I would try to get rid of it naturally. Herbicides are notorious for killing beneficial insects like bees. I have common mallow in my yard, I pull it or douse it with vinegar.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Jul 06, 2013
    I agree with Betty. But if it is over five years old it has taken deep root. Which we get rid of here by burning which doesn't get rid of the roots, or chemical burning. I dig it out by the roots whenever I see it or can. I don't to neighbors yards, families yards. Even when we hike. I drives me crazy because of the damage it has caused.

  • Brenda De Lair Brenda De Lair on Jul 07, 2013
    It is a BAD plant. It spreads everywhere and will choke out other plants. The only solution I have been able to come up with is to yank it which I am sure I will be doing for the rest of my life.

  • Kelley Aho Phillips Kelley Aho Phillips on Jul 07, 2013
    Anyone ever see the movie "The Ruins"? Whenever I'm out in my garden pulling creeping Charlie, I think of that movie. LOL.

  • Becky P Becky P on Jul 07, 2013
    @Kelley Aho Phillips I totally agree and have thought that before! Good movie, great book.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 08, 2013
    Betty, I don't like to use herbicides on my lawn either but I have a huge lawn and it took over. You would be out there 8 hours a day all summer trying to get rid of it. There is no way I could pull it all out. I just know what works and what doesn't.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 08, 2013
    I just realized I would be confusing people because of where my address show in Florence, AZ. We just have mostly rock there but right now I am in Iowa and I have a 1/2 city block full of it!

    • Lois Lois on Apr 20, 2020

      Elaine I live in AZ, south of Tucson in the desert and this year it appeared around my citrus trees. I believe it was in the compost I applied in the fall. I pulled out all I found and then had some reappear so I strayed it with herbicide. So far so good, however I will never stop looking for it. Yikes!!

  • Lisa Grametbauer Vincent Lisa Grametbauer Vincent on Jul 08, 2013
    I have this creeping charlie all over my back yard .. control burn sounds good but have apple trees and strawberries in the back.. Nothing touches this stuff. We have tried all kinds of chemicals from the garden center.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jul 09, 2013
    Lisa, I finally had a lawn service come and spray. I hated to do it but the creeping charlie just took over. You will probably have to have them come spring and fall and a couple years in a row to keep it away.

    • Deborah Campion Deborah Campion on May 20, 2016
      @Elaine Simmons I spray for it myself.....using weed free zone. one good spray in the spring and it's gone. but it will also kill lilies and hostas so keep it away from those plants

  • Frann Harrison Frann Harrison on May 20, 2016
    I have a large maple tree in my front yard, grass is impossible to grow. Creeping Charlie does grow so I allow Mr Charlie to do his thing. He is green he grows low and doesn't talk back.

  • Sue Sanders Sue Sanders on May 20, 2016
    This Creeping Charlie is terrible ...spreads fast and takes over, climbing into flower beds...have to keep pulling it out by hand. Didn't know the name of it until now. Dismayed to hear a spray wont take care of it. My yard is very large and the part I use for my yard has abundant clover and Creeping Charlie. I mow all of my property even though the back half was once used to practice softball teams and has a large backstop and is no longer used.. ( 2 1/2 acres) Too much land after the four daughters are gone. I now envy the smaller yards.

    • LT LT on Oct 02, 2021

      In our new home we have a fair size garden that was cover in ground ivy. Ground ivy has long deep root and pulling them doesn't work. Our remedy was to naturally sterilize the soil. We soaked the ground very well and covered it in clear plastic sheeting (Home Depot) and weighted down the edges. We left it all summer and let the sun do it's job. By the end of summer all the weeds dead. We cleared out all the weeds put the plastic back down and in the spring tilled and planted our garden. Hope this helps.

  • Lee maul Lee maul on May 20, 2016
    Be careful....... It will grow from every piece that is left in the ground or near there. Even a leaf or part of a root. clean up every hint of the plant when you clear it out.

  • Sully Droulias Sully Droulias on May 20, 2016
    Its food to me in salad or tea taste good.

  • EMarie EMarie on May 20, 2016
    Wow. Who would have thought? We grew this as a potted house plant and it was very easy to grow.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 20, 2016
    Deborah, I would have done it myself too but I my lot was 60 X 120 so I would have been at it for days.

  • Gail Quinn Gail Quinn on May 21, 2016
    We call it wild geraniums in Idaho.

  • Jean Gomez Jean Gomez on May 21, 2016
    We put Borax on it and it got rid of a lot of it.

  • Sondra A Sondra A on May 21, 2016
    I've heard that it is in the mint family and edible but I thought it was bitter and have no desire to try it again. Somehow it got into my entire neighborhood and we have all been fighting it for the past 5 years. It grows crazy, under tarp, under our pond, through rock, all over everything. If you just have a lawn it wouldn't matter as much as it smells rather nice when its mowed but since I have lots of flowers and an herb and vegetable garden, I do not want it. We rip at it all season long. I did a mixture of vinegar, salt and Dawn dish soap and it slowed some of it down. I'll have to try Jean Gomez's suggestion and use Borax on it.

  • Lawn Pro Lawn Pro on May 22, 2016
    If it is something you don't want its a weed.any herbacide will ersdicate it

  • Debbi Rodgers Donegan Debbi Rodgers Donegan on May 22, 2016
    This stuff is the absolute worst weed and so difficult to kill. As much as I hate using chemicals, I have now sprayed on one especially for this weed. Waiting to see if it works.

  • Punitha Sinnapoo Punitha Sinnapoo on May 22, 2016
    it is edible and a wonderful herb, good for memory. can be eaten as salad and make into juice.

  • Sully Droulias Sully Droulias on May 23, 2016
    Its good for so many thing Not bitter at all we eat them

  • Margie Margie on May 23, 2016
    We used Borax to get rid of the creeping charlie! Wetted the ground and then just walked around and sprinkled it in. It left the grass alone and killed the creeping charlie!

  • Gail Quinn Gail Quinn on May 24, 2016
    I have them in my yard & they are very hard to get rid of. I try to dig them out to get the roots

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 27, 2016
    Dorothy, I had Creeping Charlie when I lived in Iowa but have since retired to AZ. I do not remember the exact name but look for a product that contains triclopyr or dicamba. You will have to apply it more than once to get rid of it.

  • Shari Coppinger Shari Coppinger on May 30, 2016
    The grass in the picture reminds me of my own. What I discovered is that I really liked the scent of it when I mowed it. It's much healthier and keeps being that beautiful green all season. Right now it has tiny bright blue flowers and will have more on and off through the season. It is an edible herb which is filled with great benefits. I also leave it alone in the garden if it's filling an empty spot. It's not hurting your grass, it's filling in where your grass is least healthy. Please think about it before you start spreading poisons, especially if you have children or pets.

    • Helen Helen on Aug 25, 2016
      I hope you don't like growing flowers and/or vegetables.. creeping charlie will kill them off for you.

  • Bwarner50 Bwarner50 on Jul 08, 2016
    Creeping Charlie is a big menace. I didn't have any for years but several yrs ago noticed it around the edges of my garden. Now it's everywhere and will choke out my vegetables and any flower it can wrap around. I pull it up as much as possible. Will have to try the Borax, Margie. Thanks.

  • Debbie Debbie on Aug 06, 2016
    if you do not like using chemicals the only way to get rid of it is pulling it , be sure to throw it away and not back into the garden or it will spread even more

  • Shari Coppinger Shari Coppinger on Aug 25, 2016
    That's what I originally thought too Helen. Perhaps the difference is between GA and MA. In zone 5 I can allow the creeping charlie grow as ground cover to help me keep other weeds pretty much in control. When it looks like it might be getting too thick I go through pulling some out without causing too much bare ground to show. It for the most part, has a light root system and comes easily without too much fuss. Again, where my yard is concerned, the charlie is always green even in the extra hot and dry weather we've been having here this year. As a matter of fact, it has helped keep the soil in the garden moist and the plant roots cooler. I don't doubt that in your area it could be hardier than here and a real pest in the gardens considering the way it has thrived here this summer. I would still vote to leave it in the yard unless you have a really nice lawn. At my house it will always be a "yard" though. Happy gardening!

  • Shari Coppinger Shari Coppinger on Sep 18, 2016
    Thanks Reta, I found it listed as causing stomach problems and diarrhea. According to some of the lists I have read just about everything in my yard and gardens shouldn't be there except grass. I guess I have been very fortunate with my cats and dogs as I've had no problem so far. I've known about quite a few plants and now know to add creeping charlie to the list.

  • Margie Margie on Sep 24, 2016
    We wetted the grass then sprinkled it on. Worked great.

  • Laurie Masco Laurie Masco on Oct 04, 2016
    I have had good success getting rid of creeping Charlie with powdered borax. Just sprinkle it on. It will temporarily yellow the grass around it. Not to worry, it won't kill the grass.

  • Lml8229862 Lml8229862 on Oct 13, 2016
    I've given up actually. It is used by pollinators and it doesn't look bad. In some areas I'd be okay if it replaced all the high maintenance turf.

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Jan 22, 2017
    I have always grown Creeping Charlie in a container.

  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Mar 13, 2017
    Your local co-op has something to spray on it twice a year, that won't kill grass, you have to be consistent about spraying every year till you defeat it. Creeping charlie can be deadly to cows and horses, and a real pain, to gardeners

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Mar 16, 2017
    In the 60s & 70s as well.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Mar 17, 2017
    Wow! It was growing in my garden and over took the whole garden. I am grateful for all the comments here because I learned a lot from it and suspect that perhaps my dog got sick from the bling on it. That probably should've been named after a vacuum cleaner!

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Mar 17, 2017
    not the bling on it. It was supposed to be From chewing on it.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 18, 2017
    I live in SE MN in a neighborhood of mostly mid century homes. Most trees are that old also, so sun can be very sparse. This causes a problem with getting nice grass to grow. Creeping Charlie keeps it green and doesn't cause problems in the lawn. I pull it out in the gardens by getting the little ball at soil level. I have a lot of hostas and get very little under them. I use a weed preventer in the spring and it helps keep it down in the more open areas in my garden, and I pull anything that tries to creep in from the edges. I have never actually had it choke out anything in my vegetable garden and in some areas I let it grow because it helps keep moisture in the soil where I don't have anything growing. Squirrels cause the damage in my gardens!

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Apr 10, 2017
    I read that you can put lime on it to kill it. I put regular lime, not garden lime, from Home Depot in a coffee can with hole punched in the lid, and sprinkled the whole lawn. The plant did not come back the next spring, but it did after that.

  • Helen Helen on Apr 11, 2017
    "At war" with Charlie ( and losing) have found that when ground is wet , it is easier to pull up a lot of the root system by weeding with a fork. Use the tines to lift the roots--less breakage, and easier with the smaller 'strings' of the plant.
    Not going to win--have a 1/4 acre.....Charlie survives the dogs better than the grass does.....a professional landscaper that we called last year (estimate etc) said the only sure way was to scrape off the entire surface: replace topsoil and then re-sod and remain extremely vigilant since neighbours' yards are full of Charlie too. At the price quoted---Charlie and I are going to be 'At War' for a very long time.

  • Gisela Merrill Gisela Merrill on Jun 11, 2017
    I have been spraying creeping Charlie using one gallon of vinegar, one cup salt and two tbsps Dawn dish detergent solution. It kills it

  • Joanne Waylett Joanne Waylett on Jun 11, 2017
    I think the best way to get rid of weeds and unwanted guests is to pull them out by the roots. I've used vinegar to kill weeds between concrete but it browned my grass when I used it on broad leaf weeds.

  • Bobbie M Bobbie M on Jun 11, 2017
    I, also, fight this war. When the ground is damp, I pull as much as I can out by the roots. I also use the vinegar, salt, and dawn mixture on it, but you have to be careful because it will also kill the grass around it. Charlie and I will probably be enemies for a long time too. This year, I am trying something else. I have raked back the river rocks, scattered Snapshot (not exactly cheap, tho) and placed tar paper in strips along the edge of my landscaping where I have the most "Charlie" problems. Raked the rocks back in place. Time will tell.

  • Vicki Rudolph Kennedy Vicki Rudolph Kennedy on Jun 11, 2017
    Pull pull pull and use an herbicide

  • Chrispyjane.designs Chrispyjane.designs on Oct 26, 2017
    pour boiling water on them and watch them shrivel instantly

  • Nancy landers Nancy landers on Nov 25, 2017
    safest way...the good old fashioned pull method

  • Roxanne Howell Roxanne Howell on Apr 22, 2018
    This is the most hideous enemy in a yard I’ve ever encountered! It will take years to get treat it! Thanks neighbor

  • Peggy Zetler Peggy Zetler on Apr 22, 2018
    Industrial strength vinegar. I put it in my small sprayer and direct it. Even works on pigweed and poison resistant plants that are created from the use of commercial poisons thus you have to keep buying the next, more caustic poison. Good for monsanto profits. Everything they produce is toxic to pets and pollinators, well everything.

  • I love to see that that it is good for medicinal use... so everybody dig them up stick them in a pot...grow and put them in your salads... Then when you're digging up the weeds it won't feel like you're wasting your time because you can eat it later! silver lining in every cloud

  • Geanann Geanann on Aug 27, 2018

    I have been fighting Creeping Charlie for years(also Wild Violets)n The Creeping Charlie each Place that it Blooms matures with a Bulb sometimes about the size of Maybe a dime and it has I am assuming hundreds of tiny seeds ,So if you don't pull it up before the seeds pop open, That is where you get More and More new plants ,I pull them like kinda teasing the plant because if not then they will, and do ,take root from different areas of the plant

  • Ney86 Ney86 on Feb 08, 2019

    Ihad a small spot that grew out of hand! It literally chokes out grass. Weed be gone was no help it did killed my grass! I had to hoe it out grass and all roots came up like little vains . Hope grass comes back! Good luck! !!

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 16, 2019

    The only thing I have found that keeps it in check, for a while, is Vigoro Weed and Feed. It will come back, it ALWAYS comes back

  • Dee Frost Dee Frost on Nov 27, 2019

    It low, it's green I pull up little bunches of wheat or hay, where the birds drop seeds, and leave the ground cover alone, I think it's pretty.

  • Rosemarie Rosemarie on Apr 27, 2020

    i wold love a creeping charlie havent been able to find one any ideas

  • Aymee Aymee on Sep 09, 2020

    I use vinegar on all my weeds including creeping Charlie. Just make sure you only spray what you want to kill otherwise it will kill what’s around it. I spray it, let it sit for 24 then pull them. It is also best to do it on a very hot day. For creeping Charlie I also spray the root area when I pull them.

  • Tnpeggy Tnpeggy on Oct 02, 2021

    I don't like using poisons on anything. They kill everything including the beneficial insects that live in the soil. I live in East TN and also have to deal with it. I've tried pulling it, but unless you do it daily, it soon overtakes your yard again. I'm at wits end and think I'll try spraying with vinegar. I'll also continue pulling it out.

    Peggy