Garden & Greenhouse


How to Control Creeping Charlie

Posted August 24th, 2016 by Mike McGroarty in ,

While there are plenty of people out there who know that Creeping Charlie is a menace to society, there are also a large number of people out there who think it is just another weed in the yard. It is only after a few weeks of hard work and trying to remove this weed that people start to realize that they are in for a real battle. Although you may think that all of your efforts against this lawn destroyer will turn out to be futile, the fact of the matter is that there are actually a few different ways in which you can figure out how to control Creeping Charlie.creeping-charlie-300x225

Once you do the research and learn about his weaknesses, you should be able to take care of this problem plant rather quickly. You should really get to the root of this problem before things get out of hand because you could not be far away from your neighbors getting infected by this stubborn weed.

Although it contains beautiful blue flowers, the reality of the situation is that you will begin to hate this weed once it begins to takeover the entire yard. Let’s take a look at some of the best methods of how to control Creeping Charlie.

Physical Warfare Against Creeping Charlie

One of the best ways to get rid of Creeping Charlie is to take the battle to him early and often. Manual labor is sometimes the best tool to use when you want to know how to control Creeping Charlie, but there will definitely be a lot of hard work involved with this process.

The first thing you will need to realize when it comes to killing Creeping Charlie manually is that this usually only works in the early stages of Charlie’s takeover of your yard. While it could definitely work in theory over larger areas of the lawn, the fact of the matter is that there would be too much work involved for that to be a viable option.

If you can get to the roots of Creeping Charlie before he gets to the rest of the yard, then you will be well on

your way to a victory. The first thing you need to do when you want to destroy Creeping Charlie manually is get on your hands and knees and actually pull the plant out of the ground by hand. You will need to use gloves to protect your hands during this process. The next think you will need to do is take a hoe and start attacking the stems and roots of the plant. Striking the core of the plant will help you make sure that Charlie will not be making any kind of comeback in the near future.

The next thing you should do is take out your lawn mower and mow the area where Charlie once stood strong. This is basically another way to make sure that Charlie is down for the count. One thing to keep in mind here is that you need to use the kind of mower that has a bag attached to it. You do not want to spread the remains of Creeping Charlie to the rest of the yard.

After you are done mowing, you should take a rake and collect all of the leaves, flowers, stems and roots that you have ripped out of the ground. You should try to clear the entire lawn of as much Charlie as possible because this will make it harder for him to come back in the future. You may have to repeat this process a few different times, but Charlie will eventually become weak and give up.

Take Away Charlie’s Source of Sunlight

Creeping Charlie is not different from other plants in that he needs sunlight to survive. If you take away sunlight from Charlie on a daily basis, he will eventually wither away and die. The best part about this method for removing Creeping Charlie from your yard is that it can sometimes be a permanent solution. The one thing that you need to keep in mind here is that the light must be completely removed from the area of lawn that is currently Charlie’s domain.

The best thing you can use to block the sun from getting to Charlie is cardboard. You should be able to find some free cardboard from a local grocery store or retail shop and you just need to place the cardboard on top of the Creeping Charlie in your yard. After you have placed down the cardboard, you will then need to stack soil and rocks on top of the cardboard. This will make sure that the cardboard stays directly on top of Creeping Charlie. You do not want any sunlight to get to the plant, so it is rather important to make sure that the plant is completely smothered by the cardboard.

Once you are all set, you should leave the cardboard on top of the plant for about a week. This should be plenty of time for Creeping Charlie to lose hope and start to deteriorate. Before you remove the cardboard completely after the one week period, you should check to make sure that more time is not needed. It is always better to simply take a peak to see what is under the cardboard instead of assuming that you have won the battle. Make sure that no part of the plant is still alive because it does not take very much for Charlie to make a comeback. You cannot leave any stone unturned when it comes to making sure that Creeping Charlie is dead.

If it seems like there is no sign of life left under the cardboard, then you can go ahead and remove the soil, rocks and cardboard. You should make sure to keep an eye on that area of the yard for the next few weeks to make sure that the Creeping Charlie does not start to come back. If you do notice that he is back, then you need to take action against his return as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance at success.

Mike McGroarty is the owner of McGroarty Enterprises and the author of several books. You can visit his website at and read his blog at

Want more information? Try these articles:

Common Facts that Help Win the Battle of the Weeds

Managing Weeds in the Garden

Simple Steps for Better Weed Control in the Garden

Surfactants: A Simple Solution to Improving Herbicide Performance

Subscribe to Garden & Greenhouse Magazine

Subscribe to Garden & Greenhouse Email Newsletter