Transported to North America by European settlers, creeping Charlie (which is also commonly known as ground ivy) is a highly invasive weed. It’s known for its ability to spread quickly and its tendency to choke out other plants and flowers.
Thanks to these qualities, creeping Charlie is, for many homeowners, nearly impossible to eradicate. The good news, though? This stubborn weed can be successfully killed off.
In the following article, we’re going to share with you our top 10 weed killers for creeping Charlie. We’ll also answer frequently answered questions and share with you some general information about herbicides.
The 10 Best Creeping Charlie Killers
1. Fertilome Weed-free Zone
Fertilome Weed Free Zone combines four proven weed killers – 2.4-D, dicamba, carfentrazone-ethyl, and mecropop-p. The precise combination works to effectively spot-kill weeds including clover, dandelion, and wild onion among many others.
It should be used after the weeds have grown and not as a pre-emergent method of removal. Using it post-emergent ensures the control and eradication of broadleaf lawn weeds that grow in both warm and cold climates. In addition, the product is incredibly versatile and can be used on a variety of different grasses.
Once applied, the weed killer is fast-acting, with affects noticeable as soon as hours after application; plant death usually occurs within 7-14 days. When used according to the instructions, the formula is pet friendly and won’t harm dogs or cats who happen to eat a bit of treated grass.
Application is made easy thanks to the easy-spray sprayer system that is standard on every bottle of the product. The sprayer dispenses just the right amount of product, minimizing the risk of wasting the product, and ensuring that the correct amount is used every time.
- Combination of well-known weed killers
- Simple instructions
- Easy application and use
- Does not work on all weeds
2. Bonide Weed Beater Ultra
Manufactured by Bonide, Weed Beater Ultra has been designed to target and kill dozens of different kinds of weeds. The product is safe to use on the lawn and won’t damage or kill any kind of common lawn grasses.
This weed killer uses a spray application that is best suited for use with a specialized backpack, knapsack sprayer, or compression. This ensures that the user is kept away from the chemicals but also guarantees an even spray for uniform results.
Once the product is applied, weed damage can be noticed within just a few hours. Death of the plant will occur 7-14 days after the initial application, the product killing every part of the weed – including the deepest roots.
Within a few hours of being applied, Weed Beater Ultra is waterproof, which safeguards it against rain and moisture. Once it fully dried, it’s safe from being washed or wiped away by rain or moisture.
- Quick, efficient results
- Waterproof within 6 hours of application
- Easy to use with backpack or knapsack sprayer
- Will not damage existing grass
- Poor instructions
3. IT-Zone Turf Herbicide
Providing the ultimate control over broadleaf weeds that run rampant through cold-season turf, IT-Zone Turf Herbicide is an excellent choice for homeowners in cooler climates. IT-Zone includes a blend of four active ingredients: dicamba, sulfentrazone, 2,4-D, and triclopyr.
The product is made with a property that reduces solvents and improves the efficiency of root penetration, easily killing even the most stubborn of weeds. It can be used to control infestations of everything from clover to lespedeza.
Moreover, the product can be used for residential and commercial purposes; these include public fields and parks, school turf, and home-grown lawns.
The weed killer works quickly, with noticeable results showing as soon as a few hours after the first application. After a few consecutive doses, most unfavorable weeds will be eradicated, leaving a clean, beautiful plot of grass.
- The powerful blend of popular weed killers
- Ideal for a variety of uses
- Kills weeds within 2 or 3 uses
- Quick results
- Toxic to bees and pollinating insects
4. Southern AG Crossbow Herbicide
Crossbow Herbicide is a high-quality weed killer that can be used on weeds, brush, and unwanted trees, making it one of the most versatile products on the market. The product is designed to kill a variety of common weeds, which makes it great for creeping Charlie control.
Each container of the product combines 2,4-D, butoxy ethyl, and triclopyr and is a highly concentrated mixture. When it comes to using the product, it’s simple to use and comes with easy to follow instructions that outline the process in layman terms. Adding to its convenience, the mixture can be dispensed from any basic household sprayer.
After the weeds have been sprayed with the chemical mixture, visible signs of plant death can be observed within a few short hours. In most cases, the plants will be completely dead within 7-14 days. Once dead, the unwanted plants will shrivel up and disappear.
- Kills everything from brush to small trees
- Step-by-step mixing and usage instructions
- Fast-acting solution
- Easy to use with any standard household sprayer
- Grass sprayed with a large amount of chemical can be susceptible to damage
5. Hi-Yield Triclopyr Ester
Hi-Yield Triclopyr Ester is a highly concentrated herbicide that is made of simple ingredients and is trusted by professionals all around the United States. The main ingredient is triclopyr, which makes up more than half of the mixture.
The product is ideal for use on both annual and perennial broadleaf weeds in rye grass, bluegrass, and tall fescue. When used in accordance to the package instructions, the mixture is pet friendly and safe for households with children.
Most weeds will be completely dead with 2-3 generous applications, making the process quick and easy. Weeds that can be successfully killed with these applications include creeping Charlie and clover. It can also be used to suppress the growth of Bermuda grass.
- Kills weeds in only a few applications
- Simple, highly effective list of ingredients
- Pet and child friendly when used properly
- Aids in Bermuda grass suppression
- Not for use on Bermuda grass lawns
6. PBI Gordon’s Trimec Lawn Weed Killer
With more than 50 years of experience, Gordon’s has created a quality weed killer that is suitable for use on a variety of stubborn weeds. The Trimec Lawn Weed Killer effectively kills more than 230 broadleaf weed species without harming the surrounding grass.
Each bottle contains a carefully measured tri-blend of herbicides that are ideal for use on cool-weather lawns and grassy areas. Weeds that are treated turn brown and shrivel up within a few days, the product quickly eradicating them before they create an infestation. Infestations that are treated take only a few weeks to clear up.
In addition, the product is a great value for the money. On average, one gallon of product lasts 2-3 years when used with a lawn sprayed and mixed together with the right amount of water.
- Average yard uses less than one gallon, which can last years
- Effective on over 200 weed species
- Total weed death within 6 weeks
- Prevents infestations of weeds
- Lower concentration that other products
7. Ortho Weed B Gon
Ortho Weed B Gone has been formulated to target and actively destroy tough weeds like creeping Charlie, speedwell, and wild violet. Thanks to its precise chemical makeup, the product penetrates full-grown weeds down to the roots. As a result, weeds are destroyed from the roots up and regrowth is effectively prevented.
Using the product is a breeze; it requires no mixing, measuring, or preparation. It’s as simple as attaching the bottle to a garden hose nozzle and spraying the weeds as instructed by the directions.
The spray that the bottle puts out is fine and precise, dispensing just the right amount. Six hours after application, the product will be dry, which makes it resistant to washing away in the rain.
Weed B Gon kills weeds but laves underlying grasses intact, leaving lawns looking fresh and well-kept – not to mention healthier than they were when they were riddled with pesky weeds.
- Precision spraying technology
- Rain and waterproof after 6 hours
- Kills weeds from root to tip for guaranteed plant death
- No preparation required before use
- Cannot use on certain grasses
8. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer
With a new and improved formula, Green Gobbler’s Vinegar Weed Killer is ideal for speedy weed removal. It contains 20% acetic acid and is free of harmful chemicals that can cause sickness or injury, making it organic and earth-friendly. It’s biodegradable and neutralizes after rainfall.
This herbicide is versatile in its use, proving to be safe for use in residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial purposes. In these areas, it can be sprayed anywhere where weeds are not welcome: the lawn, driveway, parking lots, flower beds, and many more specific places.
Moreover, the product is effective in killing stubborn weeds like crabgrass, dandelions, musk thistle, and white clover. When it comes to using, it’s almost as easy to use as it is effective, featuring a trigger spray system that targets weeds with precision. This helps prevent damage to the grass and plants in the area, as well as saves product.
After it has been sprayed, the product is fast-acting, with users seeing results in as little as a day.
- Included trigger spray system for easy use
- Safe for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural areas
- 20% acetic acid
- Organic and chemical-free
- Not safe for pets or children
9. Alligare Triclopyr 4
This potent herbicide is an affordable option for dealing with creeping Charlie invasions. Not only is it manufactured by a popular and highly trusted brand, but the makeup of the product is solid and dependable.
The product can safely be used in residential and commercial areas, as well as areas of agricultural purpose. Its versatility extends to the specific sub-areas it can be used in, which include pastures, acres of grass, forests, and industrial sites.
Each bottle of solution has enough weed-killing power to wipe out entire patches of broadleaf weeds, small trees, and brush. The results of the product are typically noticed within 2 or 3 days.
For maximum effectiveness, it’s best to apply the herbicide when the weather forecast reports clear skies and no rain for at least three days prior to application. This ensures that the product is fully absorbed into the plant before it rains and the mixture is diluted.
- Versatile use
- Results within 2 or 3 days
- Produced by popular brand with a good reputation
- Easy to follow instructions
- Results aren’t consistent on large trees
10. Bonide Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis Killer
Designed to kill over 100 types of weeds, this multi-purpose weed killer is a go-tom solution for anyone looking to tackle two birds with one stone. In addition, it’s safe for use in rich, grassy areas, as it won’t target grasses but gets right down into the roots of weeds.
Each bottle of product comes ready to use and doesn’t need to be mixed or otherwise prepared beforehand. The powerful formula used is made up of dicamba, triclopyr, and MCPA.
Once the product has been applied to the weeds in question, it starts to eradicate them within 24 hours. Roughly four hours after application, the formula is rain-proof.
For convenient application, the container is fitted with a specialized spray head. This spray head gives out an adequate amount of herbicide and ensures the user’s safety by keeping the formula away from their hands.
- Bottle comes with an easy-to-use spray head
- The formula is rainproof after drying
- A selective formula that doesn’t kill grass
- Kills more than 100 species of weeds
- Restricted in some places
How to Identify A Creeping Charlie Invasion
If you think you might have something growing on your lawn that fits the description of “creeping”, you might just have an invasion of creeping Charlie going on. To be sure, though, you can use this basic rundown to identify it.
Creeping Charlie is often confused with creeping Jenny. Creeping Jenny looks almost the same as Charlie but doesn’t have scalloped leaves.
A cousin to mint, creeping Charlie has a strong minty smell when it’s crushed, so this is a good way to identify it. It won’t hurt you when you crush it, as it isn’t toxic to the touch.
Its leaves are bright green and either round or kidney-bean shaped, with scalloped edges. The stems of this plant are thick and grow into mat-like ground covers.
As if identifying this weed wasn’t hard enough, there’s another variation to look for. This one has light green leaves that are tipped with white, like a paintbrush or a dog’s tail.
Creeping Charlie comes back every year and when it blooms during the spring, it grows small, funnel-shaped blue flowers.
Tips for Killing Creeping Charlie With Herbicides
- Spray herbicides on days with no wind and little chance of rain. This prevents the wind from spreading your herbicide onto other plants and reduces the chances of it being washed away.
- Always follow the instructions on your chosen herbicide. Don’t assume that the usage instructions on your new favorite are the same as the ones on your old favorite.
- For maximum effectiveness, apply herbicides in fall or spring.
Creeping Charlie Weed Killer Buying Guide
Perhaps the most important part of choosing a weed killer for your creeping Charlie is choosing one that is effective. It’s important to keep in mind that not all weed killers have the same effectiveness rate.
Effectiveness is more than just whether the product kills the weeds or not; it’s also how long the weeds stay away after treatment. A product with a good rate of effectiveness will kill and prevent the weed from regrowing. It will manage to maintain the area’s weed-free status in the long term.
Usage is another important factor to consider before buying a weed killer. Some weed killers are designed for certain weeds and plants, while others are more general and supposed to be ideal for use on all common weeds.
This being said, another critical factor that goes into usage is which areas the product can be used. Thanks to the makeup of some weed killers, there are many that aren’t suitable for agricultural and residential use, but that will be just fine for commercial and industrial uses.
The safety of your chosen weed killer is important, too. This is especially true if you have kids or pets who go outside and touch the grass or other treated areas.
The safety of each individual product depends on what it’s made of and how it’s supposed to be used. Some weed killers use natural ingredients, which makes them a low risk in terms of safety. Others, however, use mostly chemicals that, for all intents and purposes, are not safe to handle without PPE or other precautions in place.
If you live in ana rea that’s prone to rain or excess moisture, you’ll need a weed killer that has high water resistance. This means that it stays put when it rains or gets wet.
Most weed killers are water-resistant after a few hours of airing out. Even still, it’s never a bad idea to double-check how long it takes for water-resistance to set in so that you can plan your application around the weather forecast.
Organic or Industrial Ingredients
There are two basic types of weed killers: natural and industrial. Also known as “organic”, natural weed killers use salt or vinegar as the main ingredient and generally use very few other ingredients. They may use relatively unharmful chemicals, as well.
Industrial weed killers tend to use harsher, more aggressive weed-killing methods. They tend to make use of industrial-strength chemicals that are dangerous to handle and must be done so with care. These weed killers will usually have danger warnings on them.
When buying a weed killer, you need to decide which way you want to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
Herbicides containing triclopyr, dicamba, and 2,4-D are designed to kill creeping Charlie but not to harm most varieties of turfgrass.
Selective herbicides are best for tackling creeping Charlie. Any of the suggestions we’ve given above will work well.
If used correctly, horticultural vinegar can work on creeping Charlie. However, it will usually take multiple treatments to completely kill the weed.
Creeping Charlie often falls back during the cold season – especially if there is snow in the area. Although, if the roots have not been removed before the cold hits and are left behind, the plant comes back when it warms up.
Creeping Charlie is known to choke out many kinds of grass and flowers, therefore, most homeowners see it as a “bad plant”. It does, however, attract pollinators like bees so many homeowners learn to tolerate it.
It was originally brought to America for medicinal uses. In large doses, it can cause digestive problems but is not poisonous.
So, what’s the best creeping Charlie killer? It’s really up to you! With any luck, though, you’ve found the herbicide for you with the help of our list.
When you’re making your choice, it’s crucial to understand what creeping Charlie is and why it’s so hard to kill. To help you with this, take note of our description of the weed and do a thorough check to be sure that it is what you’re dealing with.
Then, when purchasing a creeping charlie killer, make sure you pay attention to the product’s ability to resist water, its uses, ad its general effectiveness. Don’t forget to keep your safety mind when choosing; look for an herbicide that you feel comfortable with using and that fits your personal situation.