Glechoma hederacea, more commonly known as creeping Charlie or ground ivy, is a weed native to Europe and Asia. Early European settlers brought it to North America believing they could use it as groundcover in shady areas. Although it will serve that purpose, it also chokes out other favorable plants, such as grass, annuals and smaller perennials as it creeps its way throughout a yard.
Unfortunately, getting rid of it is no small feat. You will have to remain dedicated to do away with the herbaceous perennial plant. In fact, it may take you several years to completely eradicate creeping Charlie from your lawn completely. But by taking these steps, you can reclaim your yard for good.
1. Put Down The Hoe
First, know what not to do. Raking, hoeing and tilling ground with creeping Charlie might remove most of the weed, but tiny bits will remain in the soil. Those little particles will regenerate and spread once more.
2. Boost The Lawn
Improving your grass’s health and density can help your lawn fight ground ivy and many other weeds. Steps such as removing thatch, aerating the lawn, mowing regularly and providing healthy soil can give the grass what it needs to fight creeping Charlie.
3. Dry It Out
Weeds can tell you a great deal about your lawn. Creeping Charlie grows best in shady or poorly drained areas. Improve soil drainage and trim branches overhead. Sunnier, dryer conditions can cause the weed to die.
4. Dig It Up
Perhaps the best natural way to get rid of weeds such as creeping Charlie is to pull them by hand or dig them up. Yanking or plowing them up in the spring and again in the summer can be highly effective.
5. Kill It
Treating the area with weed killer also works quite well. Spraying with a broadleaf herbicide in the fall and again in the spring, after the creeping Charlie has flowered, will provide the best results.