By in Gardening

Creeping Charlie

Whether you call it by its scientific name of Glechoma hederacea, Creeping Charlie, Runaway Robin, Ground Ivy or any of its other common names (including #$%%$#@& *!) this invasive little member of the mint family is a pain in the posterior.

Because it can take root anywhere a node (where the leaves attach to the stem) touches the ground, it spreads rapidly and, because not all broadleaf herbicides affect it, once it gains a foothold in your lawn it can seem impossible to get rid of.
Creeping Charlie grows best where lawns are poorest so using good lawn keeping practices – reseeding bare or thin spots, mowing at the right height, etc. will help keep it at bay. Once established, however, you have to be really proactive to get rid of it and, even if you succeed, it will likely sneak over from your neighbors and try to re-establish itself.

Creeping Charlie's roots are shallow, so the plant is easily uprooted and small areas can be controlled by regular, thorough, hand-weeding; for larger areas you may want to consider an herbicide containing either Dicamba or triclopyr. Any time you choose to use an herbicide, be sure to read the label, understand the label, and follow the directions to the letter.

Image Credit » by Hans

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MegL wrote on April 12, 2015, 7:49 AM

Makes me think of forget me not, a Myosotis, which is very similar but we don't bother getting rid of it, prefer not to use weedkillers.

wolfgirl569 wrote on April 12, 2015, 9:57 AM

I have been trying to get that out of my tulip garden for the 5 years since moving here. I am slowly gaining on it

lookatdesktop wrote on April 13, 2015, 1:19 AM

These are pretty little flowers. I have many strange varieties of wild flowers in my yard with various bright colors from yellow to blue but this is due to the fact I used to feed wild birdseed to the locals. Over time the lawn took on a wild look.

BeckyWiegers wrote on April 13, 2015, 6:09 AM

They ARE pretty, very tiny, very blue. The foliage is attractive as well, with shiny green leaves about an inch or inch and a quarter across, almost heart shaped and with scalloped edges. It would make a fine ground cover if you could contain it but it is wildly invasive. I'm truly not one of those people who think a lawn should be a perfect swath of green velvet but I DO like having SOME grass to loll around on!

BeckyWiegers wrote on April 13, 2015, 6:16 AM

Well, the flowers of both are small and blue, so I can see that. Forget me nots are also somewhat invasive, but not on the same scale as Charlie. I don't use weed killer either but this stuff is so thorough at taking over a lawn that I do make an effort to pull a lot of it, especially in the little patch of lawn near the door which is the one place where I really DO want it to look perfect.

Last Edited: April 13, 2015, 6:17 AM

BeckyWiegers wrote on April 13, 2015, 6:17 AM

Luckily, it's easy to pull!