Ground Ivy Illustration

Ground ivy

Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) also known as Creeping Charlie, is an aggressive, low-growing, perennial invader of lawns, vegetable gardens, and flower beds. It thrives in moist, shady areas, as well as sunny locations. The scalloped leaves are round or kidney-shaped and are attached by petioles to square stems. Ground ivy roots at each joint whenever it touches the soil, thus making it difficult to hand pull. Ground Ivy spreads by seed and stolons. It can root at each leaf node so it establishes itself very quickly. The other problem with pulling is the difficulty in getting the whole plant. Any rooted nodes left, just grow and spread.

Ground Ivy

Ground ivy is hard to control because you can't pull it out easily in lawns and many commercial broadleaf lawn weed killers have little or no effect on it. Pre emergence herbicides do not control ground ivy, accordingly, we are left with post emergence controls. Most common broad-leaved weed controls are ineffective by themselves.

The most effective control comes with the use of combination herbicides that contain the product dicamba. The best time to achieve good control is in the fall, from mid-September to early November. The next best time to control ground ivy is when it is just beginning to flower. This occurs towards the end of April. Two herbicide applications, spaced about 28 days apart are usually necessary to achieve good control.

There are several lawn weed killer products available that contain dicamba. Most of them also contain 2,4-D and MCPP. However, you may still need to make repeat applications with dicamba-containing products to completely control ground ivy. Ground ivy spreads via creeping stems that propagate new plants.