What Does Creeping Charlie Look Like?

A lot of homeowners and gardeners are constantly on the lookout for new ways to keep their garden looking its best. And if you have ever seen a strange weed that you couldn’t identify, you might be wondering what it was as well as how it got there.

It’s important that you can identify any potential weeds that may pop up, so that you may get rid them before they cause any issues.

Well, don’t worry about it anymore! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Creeping Charlie weed – we’ll examine what it looks like, where and how it grows, how to get rid of Creeping Charlie, and more. We’ll help you to learn everything you need to know about this common weed!

So, what does Creeping Charlie look like? Read on and find out!

What is Creeping Charlie?

There are many different weeds named Creeping Charlie. The most frequent weed associated with the Creeping Charlie name is Glechoma hederacea, also known as Ground Ivy, Gill-Over-The-Ground, and Alehoof, so it is the one we will focus this article on.

However, both Plectranthus verticillatus, or Swedish Ivy, and Pilea nummulariifolia, are called Creeping Charlie as well. Thus, it’s difficult to determine exactly what plant someone is referring to when they use the term “Creeping Charlie,” and it’s always a good idea to remember that there are other less-common alternatives.

Glechoma hederacea is a perennial and evergreen weed that is part of the mint family. In the United States, this weed is an invasive non-native weed species. It has infested both wild and cultivated areas, often choking out and killing native wildflowers, so you should eliminate it as soon as you see it in your yard.

Where Does Creeping Charlie Grow?

Creeping Charlie prefers moist soil and may be found in shaded areas or near water sources such as ponds or streams. It’s also common in grasslands, wooded regions, and abandoned lots. However, it can also handle sunshine well, so eradicating it isn’t as simple as giving your garden more light.

It may be found in fields, on hill slopes, and near residential homes. It appears when the soil has been disturbed by human activity or landscaping, and it is able to recover easily after being mowed.

Creeping Charlie is a harmful weed that grows fast and forms thick mats, which can take over lawns and woodlands in many areas. It’s considered an aggressive or invasive plant in areas where it isn’t indigenous.

The stem of Creeping Charlie may bend over and allow roots to attach, which allows it to creep outward along the ground and helps it to clone itself. Creeping Charlie propagates rapidly via both seed and clonal reproduction, so if you discover any spots, act quickly to remove them!

How to Identify Creeping Charlie

Identifying any specific weed is the first step to eliminating it. Here are some visual signs and characteristics of Creeping Charlie to be on the lookout for.

Visual Characteristics 

Creeping Charlie grows prostrate along the ground, meaning it basically ‘creeps’ along the ground and grows into a large mat or carpet covering the soil. While it can grow up to 20 inches high, it is almost always found at ground level.

Creeping Charlie is a vine that has green leaves, hairy stems and bright, purple flowers shaped like trumpets or funnels.

The leaves are rounded at the tip and heart shaped where they attach to the stems. They have round, wavy toothed edges that go all the way around the leaf. The stems have a hairy upper surface and they are usually green mixed with a reddish-brown.

The flowers in Creeping Charlie look like little purple funnels, and they grow in little clusters of two or three, which appear on opposite sides of the stem.

Growth Stages

It blooms and produces flowers from April to July. Each flower has up to four seeds, which it usually drops next to the plant, though ants might transport them further away.

Creeping Charlie is a weed that is most readily identified by its growth behavior. It’s a vine that creeps along the ground and grows into a mat-like ground cover if left unchecked. The vines have nodes at each of the places where leaves develop, and these nodes will grow roots if they come into touch with soil.

Other Unique Traits

Creeping Charlie is frequently served as a salad vegetable in various countries, and some people cultivate it in pots or in their gardens. It was even utilized to make ale in the Middle Ages, before hops were common.

It is also fragrant and has a distinct odor when plucked or crushed, as it is related to mint.

Plants That Look Like Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie is sometimes mistaken for Common Mallow, which has similar, circular leaves with lobed edges. However, mallow leaves are attached to the stem at the rear of a rounded leaf, whereas Creeping Charlie’s stems and leaves are connected in the center of the leaf and have less prominent rounded lobes that attach to the stems in a different arrangement, and their upper surface is covered in tiny hairs.

Additionally, Creeping Charlie does not spread from stems’ nodes, unlike other mallow and similar plants that are frequently mistaken with it. If you’re unsure, simply crush the weed and smell it, if it has a strong mint-like smell, it’s Creeping Charlie.

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie

There are a number of ways to get rid of creeping charlie in your yard and garden.

You can try to remove it manually. This approach is extremely tough since Creeping Charlie is one of the most difficult weeds to remove by hand. It will have to be done many times, and it’s most successful when there’s only a tiny amount to remove.

To get rid of Creeping Charlie, first cut away the leaves and stems of the plant. Then water the soil and ground on which it is planted; with wet soil, the roots will slide out more easily. Make sure the roots are showing by loosening the dirt with a hoe or pitchfork before removing as much of them as feasible.

However, if you have a problem with Creeping Charlie on your land, the most effective and efficient method is to use chemical weed killers. Spray the area where you notice it spreading with an herbicide that has glyphosate or triclopyr as its base ingredient.

Final Thoughts

Knowing what Creeping Charlie looks like is the first step to avoiding it, as with any weed. If you can identify this invasive weed early on in your yard, you can take steps to rid yourself of it before it becomes an issue.

The goal of this article was to get you informed about Creeping Charlie and its growing patterns, as well as to compare it with other weed species, which hopefully we’ve done. There are certain characteristics that may assist you in recognizing this weed if you come across it in your garden or backyard.

If you’re not sure whether a plant in your lawn is Creeping Charlie, please get in contact with us. We want to make sure this weed does not spread in your community, or cause any problems in your backyard. Thank you for taking the time to read, and happy gardening!