Getting Rid of Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie)

September 20, 2011

Closeup of blue flowering creeping charlie.There are two solutions that I've found: either dig it up by hand or poison everything in the area infested, and then plant new grass. I forget what the weed killer I used was, but it kills everything, and then loses toxicity after 2 or 3 weeks. I'd be interested in hearing other ideas because my lawn is being over run again.


By Jack from Boston, MA



July 21, 20120 found this helpful
Top Comment

In the cracks of the sidewalks and driveways, I have used epsom salt and jammed as much as I could in the cracks, they are dead the next day. Too much on plants/lawn can kill it.


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September 20, 2011

I know there are different kinds of ground ivy, but here is how I cope with it. It seems to come up every year in the same places and nothing I do can get rid of it completely.


September 20, 2011

If there is a plant you really want to get rid of, I always recommend Round-Up. It is not organic but gets the job done and it kills all the roots.


Spray it directly on the plant(s) you are wanting to get rid of, it will kill what it lands on so don't use on a windy day.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 8, 2013

Help! Creeping Charlie has taken over my shade garden. It's even found it's way to the lawn. How can I get rid of this menace without having to kill everything in the garden and starting over?

By Sweezykay


April 16, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

To get rid of Creeping Charlie, use Borax laundry additive. There is a formula of how much to add to water that is easy to find on the internet. It is real easy to take some out to the yard with you and carefully sprinkle on just the Charlie and then water (or just before a good rain). Not too much or will burn the good stuff.


I do this especially where no grass grows and it is just Creeping Charlie and other weeds. In these areas, I am a little more generous. Works like magic, but keep up with it. If in garden, it also works but don't overdo. I found it will not kill other weeds.

May 9, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use a herbicide containing Dicamba the higher the % the better at least 6% to 12%. Hit it when it flowers in the spring and in the fall. Borax will work but you need to careful on the anount it can carry over to the next year like atrazine . Hi-Yield Range and Pasture Dicamba + D has about 12%

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May 5, 2011

Does borax kill grass if spread on grass?

By Jim


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
May 9, 20110 found this helpful
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Using Borax is very chancy. If you use too much you could ruin your whole yard and it will be a very long time before you get any grass to grow. This is the only thing that works and even then you have to keep checking and reapply. I took this excerpt from "The Gardenweb" and the guy is right in what he says. I have so much yard, I couldn't keep it up myself because it was covered with it. So I had a service come in and now maybe I can get it under control. It is a nasty weed.


I have been reading your frustrations. I want to reiterrate my post from two years ago, and remind you how important timing is for attacking this weed. A couple of applications in late September/early October is the key to beginning to control this monster. Plus, if you use Weed B Gon max over whole yard at this time, you will have an amazingly clean yard the next spring.

Creeping Charlie or ground ivy is a particularly problematic weed because of the fact that it is resistant to a number of herbicides, but there are some very effective products available. (One of the things I am assuming here is that you want to control the creeping Charlie in your turf areas.) When searching for a herbicide look for products containing triclopyr. This includes Weed B Gon Purple, Weed B Gon Chickweed, and Weed B Gone Max. If you have other broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, Weed B Gon Max would be a great choice because it contains 4 active ingredients 2,4-D, which is very effective on dandelion, MCPP, dicamba, and triclopyr. The best time to apply your perennial weed control products for species such as creeping Charlie is in fall (October 1-15). At this time weeds will be going dormant and storing nutrients, and if you spray at this time the weed will actually store the herbicide, giving you the best control response. The second best time is in the spring right at and after creeping Charlie flowers.


I had the service come in the fall and I see very little of it this spring.

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March 30, 2012

What weed killer works to remove creeping charlie from my lawn?

By Alan


March 31, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have had good results in controlling moss in my lawn using vinegar. Don't know if it would work on creeping charlie. I got the following from typing in creeping charlie in to

If you catch it early, you may be able to control creeping charlie by pulling it out. If it becomes thick, you can use a special tool called a thatching rake. This helps to comb through the grass, pulling much of the viny weed out. It doesn't eliminate it, but may keep it in check. (Some grass will be pulled up in the process.)


Using this tool is more physically demanding than fall leaf raking, however. It provides a strenuous workout, and may be more laborious than what you wish to undertake. This operation thatches the lawn and cuts into the soil. Afterwards, you can work in some shade-tolerant grass seed to replace the creeping charlie. The best time to do this is between mid-August and mid-September. Choose a time when the weather is beginning to feel cooler.

You may control creeping charlie chemically by applying a herbicide containing 2,4-D and MCPP as its active ingredients. The herbicide will damage or possibly kill any woody or broad-leafed vegetation that comes in contact with the spray, so it must be used with caution.

The best time to spray is in autumn, once temperatures have cooled to the 60's or 70's, with no rain forecast for 48 hours. This spray program may be repeated every ten to fourteen days as long as the weather is cooperative. Do not spray during hot or windy weather, to avoid herbicide drift onto desirable plants. Always follow the label directions carefully.

A combination of 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba may be used under some circumstances. The three together work more effectively than 2,4-D and MCPP but one reason for that extra effectiveness is dicamba's ability to be absorbed through the roots as well as through leaves. Since creeping charlie frequently grows in the shade of trees and shrubs, this combination of ingredients must be used with caution, spraying only enough to wet the leaves, not soaking the ground. This combination will prove more effective and pose less danger to desirable plants when it is used in early fall rather than spring.

If you have areas with more creeping charlie than lawn, you may wish to start over. Strip it off with a sod lifter (a hand tool), a sod cutter (a power tool) or apply glyphosate (a non-selective herbicide, sold as Roundup) to kill the entire area. Then you can seed or sod.

Where creeping charlie persists after years of repeated attempts to control it, you may want to consider killing it and replacing it with shade-tolerant ground cover plants or decorative mulch.

If you are interested in trying to eliminate creeping charlie with a borax application, see Yard & Garden Brief H519B, Using Borax to Control Creeping Charlie.

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July 20, 2010

How can I kill ground ivy?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

By Tom Diedrich from Milwaukee, WI


July 24, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try dabbing Round-Up concentrate on a few of the leaves with an artist brush in the spring and fall. I did this in my lawn last year and it didn't come back this year. You can over seed the area in the early spring if there is a bare spot.

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November 5, 2011

How do I get rid of creeping charlie in my lawn and gardens? It has a root system approximately every 6 inches and is taking over my lawn.

By Donna M

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 12, 2006
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

November 1, 2010

I have creeping charlie that has consumed the back yard! Can I get rid of it without chemicals?


September 18, 2010

What is the best way to get rid of creeping charlie?


May 10, 2010

I see my creeping charlie has survived the winter and is thriving nicely. I have pulled it over and over. It seems to make it grow better.


March 13, 2010

I don't know how to get rid of creeping charlie without killing what's left of my grass. This stuff is horrible.


May 12, 2009

I have ground ivy that is growing along the fence line of my backyard that looks like it is spreading to my lawn, slowly.


July 20, 2010

How do I get rid of ground ivy without killing everything else? I really don't want a bare spot in my yard as my yard is beautiful, except I don't want this ground ivy to take over.

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