The creepy Creeping Charlie is a tough nut to crack if you are planning on getting rid of it from your lawn. Just like dandelions, most gardeners dread the slightest sight of this pesky plant. Well, with endless effort and methods, even the most challenging nut cracks at some point. Therefore, Creeping Charlie too has its end.
In this case, Dicamba herbicides are a lifesaver. They will not only control the spread of Creeping Charlie, but will also kill it completely. Whew! Sounds pretty convenient, right?
Stay put and indulge on more of this pretty but harmless weed in this article.
Is Creeping Charlie Bad?
Also known as the Ground Ivy, Creeping Charlie is a green vine weed with rounded, scallop-edged leaves. It has pretty small flowers with a pleasant minty aroma. Since it grows near the ground, it forms a carpet-like cover on the ground if you let it grow that much. Now here’s the buzzkill.
Where the leaves grow, the vines have nodes that immediately form roots when they touch the soil. This is why the Ground Ivy is so annoying because if you pull it up, the rooted node will turn into a new plant if carelessly left behind. Also, killing it by mowing is unsuccessful since the weed grows horizontally.
The growth of Creeping Charlie in your lawn is harmful to your desired plants because it kills everything around it. This weed favourably competes with other plants for nutrients, making them weaker to the point of death.
In a crawling habit, the weed grows and competes with other plants for nutrients killing everything around it. Creeping Charlie is terrible for your lawn and needs an effective removal method once you spot it.
Does Dicamba Herbicide Kill Creeping Charlie?
Are you tired of pulling out the seemingly unending Creeping Charlie from your lawn? Good news! Well apart from hand removal, weed killers are another way of killing Creeping Charlie. You have to agree that the market is full of weed killers claiming to work effectively on eliminating creeping Charlie. While this is true, be cautious on spending your money on counterfeits and ineffective chemicals. So how can you be sure of the right herbicide for killing creeping Charlie?
As a broadleaf weed, Creeping Charlie does not die on just any herbicide but a broadleaf one with Dicamba as an active ingredient. The Dicamba broadleaf herbicide is selective, meaning it will only kill the selected weeds. This way, your lawn and other desirable plants will be safe. However, even Dicamba can fail at this task if you do not apply it accordingly.
To make sure of impressive results with Dicamba herbicide, you must;
- Apply the Dicamba herbicide immediately fall season kicks in since the Ground Ivy grows aggressively at this time. That way, it will be left weak and not able to survive through winter. On the other hand, if you decide to spray Dicamba herbicide in early summer or late spring period, know that it will only inhibit the growth of Ground Ivy rather than kill it.
- Be alert and in the know of no rain or snow for about 24hrs after you spray the Dicamba herbicide. This condition helps the herbicide to work effectively with no rain or snow to wash out the herbicide.
- Preferably, spray Dicamba on a day that is not windy, so avoid the herbicide blowing to other plants.
- Use Dicamba herbicide on Creeping Charlie and three days before and after mowing your lawn. Once the herbicide is in the system of Ground Ivy, the weed will grow more leaves as Dicamba gradually attacks the whole plant system to death.
- Once you are through spraying the area appropriately, creeping Charlie will die, causing the roots to rot in the ground. The Dicamba herbicide is not harmful to the soil though you can treat the soil and replant after winter.
Tip: make sure you use the sprayer correctly to administer the Dicamba herbicide on the Creeping Charlie for better results.
Triclopyr or Dicamba for Creeping Charlie
There’s power in numbers. Therefore to be more specific on how to kill Creeping Charlie growing in your lawn, use a selective broadleaf herbicide with both Triclopyr and Dicamba. Both elements are practical singly but even more potent as a combination. They are systematic in their operation whereby if the plant takes them in, it will die from the roots to flowers.
Overtime Dicamba has proved to be the most effective herbicide in controlling Creeping Charlie. Triclopyr and 2, 4-D chemicals are also influential in this fight against the Ground Ivy. However, Triclopyr is the best and first alternative in case you miss a Dicamba herbicide.
They are all very safe for the lawn grass and desirable plants if you apply them correctly and right timing. For significant results, apply 2-3 times annually.
Killing Creeping Charlie with Vinegar
You can decide to use herbicides to kill Creeping Charlie that may seem expensive or somewhat harmful to the environment or DIY natural home remedies. Home remedies are a pantry away in your home hence cheap and readily available. Do not to forget the fact that they are natural and safe for the environment.
Vinegar is a natural ingredient and can also make a broadleaf herbicide for killing broadleaf weeds such as Creeping Charlie. But this is only effective if you time and use it correctly with repeated applications.
If you decide on trying vinegar to kill Creeping Charlie, follow the below steps for significant results.
What you will need;
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- On a calm day, label the spray bottle for safety and future use.
- Fill the bottle with vinegar and add salt.
- Spray the vinegar solution directly on the leaves of the ground ivy.
- Repeat the process until you acquire the desired results.
How to Get Rid Of Creeping Charlie with Borax
Before, Borax or Boron was a method for killing the creeping Charlie. The latest research, however, shows that Borax is highly toxic to the soil and can cause harsh growing environment even as the least amount. That adverse environment will deem impossible to regrow grass.
Borax is effective in killing Creeping Charlie or any other weed, but it is now illegal in some areas; therefore, you should not use it.
But, in case you are not planning to regrow anything on that area with Ground Ivy, use the following steps with Borax for the task.
Tip: Put on protective gear before using borax.
- Pour in about 10 oz. of borax preferably the 20 Mule Team brand in half a cup of warm water.
- Then add the borax mixture into 2.5 gallons of water. Make sure the borax completely dissolves before use. This solution will be enough to cover an area as big as 1,000 sq. Though, mix less for a smaller area.
- Get a sprayer that can attach to a hose then pour in the borax mixture.
- Spray the borax solution directly on to the creeping Charlie.
- Repeat the process annually.
How to Prevent the Creeping Charlie from Growing Back
Creeping Charlie is an invasive weed that seems not to die off quickly. However, this weed is fond of growing on poorly kempt and unhealthy lawns. Once you manage to remove it successfully, you want to make sure it never comes back.
Hoping that you have learnt your lesson, this time round maintain a healthy lawn. Tips of maintaining a healthy lawn are several, but the common ones include;
- Mow your lawn frequently.
- Set a frequent watering schedule.
- Regularly feed your lawn with a suitable fertilizer (organic preferably).
These routine practices will result in lush and dense lawn grass. Since the Creeping Charlie grows horizontally creeping on the ground, the dense grass will not allow sunlight to reach the weed. Hence, the ground ivy will have no business growing in such a lawn.
The nasty, resilient and adaptive weed also has some redeeming qualities. In grounds that are left bare most times, Creeping Charlie helps in covering them up hence preventing soil erosion in the area. Creeping Charlie can also make a beautiful landscape ground cover in rocky areas. Besides, the pretty blue-violet flowers attract and support pollinators.
Though many gardeners cannot support the idea of Creeping Charlie in the yards, you will have to agree with me that the weed is not all that bad after all, huh?