Creeping Charlie or ground ivy is a perennial weed in the mint family that spreads by seeds, rhizomes and creeping stems that root at the nodes. This European native was introduced to North America by early settlers who thought it was a good groundcover for shade. Creeping Charlie thrives in moist, shady spots such as under trees and shrubs.Creeping Charlie thrives in moist shaded areas, but also tolerates sun very well. It is a common plant in grasslands and wooded areas or wasteland. It also thrives in lawns and around buildings, since it survives mowing. It spreads by stolons or by seed. Part of the reason for its wide spread is this rhizomatous method of reproduction. It will form dense mats which can take over areas of lawn, and thus can be considered an invasive or aggressive weed.
Creeping charlie or ground ivy. Photo by Chris Evans, University of Georgia
Establishing and/or improving a grass stand to outcompete Creeping Charlie is essential, this is easier said than done primarily because Creeping Charlie thrives in the shade and turfgrasses have a tough time in the shade. For most effective control a multi-pronged approach is needed including:
> Mowing the established turf at 3" or more
>Broadleaf herbicide applications using materials containing dicamba or triclopyr in the spring after flowering and then again 3-4 weeks later. You could and probably should also apply in the fall (Sep 15-Oct15) and again 3-4 weeks later. Unfortunately, these applications may be needed for many years to be most successful.
>Fall fertilization to thicken the grass stand.
>Regular overseeding in the fall to thicken the stand even more.
Information from Purdue University