What Is the Best Form of Removal for Creeping Charlie?


Quick Answer

Creeping Charlie is best controlled by using a broadleaf herbicide to kill it and then correcting the conditions that allowed it to become established. Once used as a groundcover under trees, this plant is invasive and detrimental to lawns. Also known as ground ivy, it spreads by seed and through stolons, which are stems that form new roots. Spraying with borax kills the plant in some areas.

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What Is the Best Form of Removal for Creeping Charlie?
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Full Answer

Homeowners should apply broadleaf herbicides to creeping Charlie when conditions are dry and temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees. Herbicides are most effective if the plant is actively growing, so do not mow the plant for a few days before or after applying the product.

Once the herbicide kills the creeping Charlie, developing a healthy turf prevents it from returning. Since the plant prefers shady areas where many lawn grasses find it difficult to grow, choosing an appropriate shade-loving grass for the spot is essential. Mow grass under taller trees to increase the surface area for collecting sunlight, and water and feed the grass regularly. Trimming trees to allow more light underneath is sometimes effective.

According to the Chicago Tribune, researchers at Iowa State University report borax as effective in controlling creeping Charlie. However, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found borax ineffective. The uncertainty of this method and the stress it causes for turf grass make it a much less ideal solution than a broadleaf herbicide.

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