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Killing Creeping Charlie With Vinegar [and 5 Other Methods]

Because Creeping Charlie is a vine, it is extremely hard to kill with vinegar. This is because vinegar won’t penetrate and kill Creeping Charlie to the roots. To kill Creeping Charlie with vinegar, you’ll need to spray it several times, dousing the vine each time it grows new leaves. Instead of vinegar, kill Creeping Charlie in one treatment by using a selective herbicide that won’t harm grass. If you want to kill Creeping Charlie without chemicals, you can use organic weed spray, smother the vine, or dig it up from the roots.

Killing Creeping Charlie with vinegar

Can You Kill Creeping Charlie With Vinegar?

You can kill Creeping Charlie with vinegar, but it is not the easiest, best, or most environmentally friendly solution. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which dries out plant leaves on contact. However, acetic acid is neutralized on contact with soil. That’s the reason why vinegar doesn’t kill weeds to the root. Additionally, vinegar is non-selective, which means it will attack grass and any other plants near your invasive Creeping Charlie.

  • Vinegar is a very inefficient way to kill Creeping Charlie.
  • Because vinegar will not kill plant roots, you will have to spray Creeping Charlie each time it grows back.
  • Vinegar will also harm grass, while other weed killers won’t.
  • The acetic acid in vinegar is harmful to bees and other essential pollinators, making vinegar spray a poor choice for the environment.

Because Creeping Charlie is an extremely resilient invasive plant, it will shrug off the vinegar spray and sprout new leaves. You’ll have to spray the vine every time it attempts to grow back in order to truly kill it. This process can take months. All the while, your vinegar spray may be killing off bees and other essential pollinators. So, vinegar is not the best solution for tough invasive weeds like Creeping Charlie.

What Kills Creeping Charlie But Not Grass?

Herbicides containing Triclopyr, 2,4-D, and/or Dicamba will attack Creeping Charlie but won’t harm your turf grass. This makes broadleaf herbicides much better for Creeping Charlie control than vinegar. Vinegar will attack your grass. Since lawn grass is typically not as hardy as vines like Creeping Charlie, you’re likely to kill your grass with the vinegar, then see Creeping Charlie grow back in the dead zone.

  • Weed control products with Triclopyr, Dicamba, and 2,4-D kill Creeping Charlie but won’t kill grass.
  • Vinegar will kill grass at the same time it attacks Creeping Charlie.
  • Triclopyr-based herbicides are our top pick for killing ground ivy without damaging your lawn.

When selecting a herbicide to destroy Creeping Charlie and leave your lawn unharmed, search for the active ingredient Triclopyr. It is a very strong herbicide that specializes in killing tough plants, but it’s harmless to grass.

How Do You Permanently Get Rid of Creeping Charlie? [6 Methods]

Below are the best methods for killing Creeping Charlie. The method you choose depends on whether there are desirable plants and grasses nearby, whether you want to use a chemical-free solution, and how patient you are. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to select the best option for your yard.

Vinegar

If you wish to kill Creeping Charlie with vinegar, mix a solution of 2 parts white vinegar and 1 part warm water. Fill a spray bottle or garden sprayer with this solution, then thoroughly spray the leaves of the Creeping Charlie. The plant’s leaves will dry up and shrivel. However, this tough ground ivy will try to sprout back. So, you’ll have to repeat your vinegar spray several times throughout the growing season to fully kill the plant.

  • Mix 2 cups (480 ml) of white vinegar with 1 cup (240 ml) of warm water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the leaves and stems of Creeping Charlie with this mixture.
  • Within 1–2 days, the leaves will begin to shrivel and die.
  • Repeat this spray each time Creeping Charlie attempts to regrow.
  • DO NOT add salt to your vinegar spray—this can poison your soil and prevent plant growth in the area for years.

It’s essential that you do not mix salt in with your vinegar weed killer. Salt will increase the weed-killing power of your mix, but it will poison the ground. Salt remains in the soil for months or years, preventing any new plants from growing there. Water and rainfall will also spread the salt through the soil, creating a large dead zone in your yard.

Crossbow

In order to kill Creeping Charlie in one application without harming your grass, spray it with properly diluted Crossbow herbicide. This herbicide contains Triclopyr and 2,4-D, both of which are grass-safe herbicides that will destroy Creeping Charlie. Initial plant wilting should begin within 24–48 hours. Within 1–2 weeks, the Creeping Charlie plant will be dead, including the roots.

  • Use this crossbow herbicide to kill Creeping Charlie without killing grass.
  • One application of Crossbow will kill Creeping Charlie to the root.
  • Crossbow is more effective than vinegar because it infiltrates the plant and it kills it systemically.

The active ingredients in Crossbow are systemic herbicides. This means that the chemicals enter the plant’s leaves and are transported to the roots by the plant’s vascular system. Once a vine has been sprayed with Crossbow, it will die completely.

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  • You can use this on non-crop and non-timber areas.
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Dicamba

In addition to the Triclopyr and 2,4-D found in Crossbow, Dicamba is another selective herbicide that kills Creeping Charlie but won’t attack grass. Search product labels for the active ingredient “Dicamba” or “Dicamba Acid.” A single application of this weed killer with Dicamba will kill Creeping Charlie to the root in 1–2 weeks.

  • Herbicide sprays with Dicamba kill Creeping Charlie and other broadleaf weeds without killing grass.
  • A single application of a weed killer with Dicamba will kill Creeping Charlie roots, leaves, and stems within 2 weeks.
  • Most weed killers are safer to handle and work with than horticultural vinegar, despite popular belief.

You may be wary of using chemical herbicides, but many are much safer to handle than certain forms of vinegar. We do not recommend using horticultural vinegar in your yard or garden because the fumes are so dangerous. Working with horticultural vinegar releases fumes that can burn your eyes and airways. If you do use horticultural vinegar for Creeping Charlie control, always wear a breath mask and eye protection.

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Organic Weed Killer

You can get rid of Creeping Charlie organically by spraying an all-natural weed killer made from citrus oil. A certified organic weed killer will preserve your all-natural garden and prevent harm to the environment. However, organic weed killers are non-selective, which means they will damage any grass they are sprayed on.

  • Use this organic weed killer with citrus oil to kill Creeping Charlie.
  • Organic weed killers are non-selective—they will also attack grass.
  • Choose an organic weed killer with citrus oil instead of vinegar—it’s less harmful to bees.

It’s best to use a citrus-oil-based weed killer if you want to go the organic route. Citrus oil is all-natural and won’t harm the environment. Vinegar kills and disorients bees, which can drive these essential pollinators from your garden.

Top-Rated Organic Herbicide
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  • See results within 2 hours of applications.
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Smothering

You can kill Creeping Charlie without chemicals by depriving it of air, water, and light. To kill Creeping Charlie by smothering it, use this method:

  • Lay a black plastic tarp over the Creeping Charlie plant.
  • Weigh down the edges of the tarp with wood, stones, or brick to make an airtight seal.
  • Leave the tarp on top of the Creeping Charlie for at least 6 weeks.
  • Remove the tarp.
  • Tear up the dead Creeping Charlie.
  • Replant the area with new plants or grass.

Smothering Creeping Charlie takes some time, but it is very effective. However, any plants or grass under the tarp along with the Creeping Charlie will also suffer. So, this option is great for garden areas but is not best for Creeping Charlie that has invaded your lawn as ground cover.

Hand Weeding

The fastest way to organically rid your yard of Creeping Charlie is to remove it by hand. Use a hoe, shovel, and rake to dip up Creeping Charlie roots and remove them. Keep in mind, Creeping Charlie is a tough vine. Even small portions of root remaining in the soil will sprout again. So, do your best to remove it, then see if any small sprouts survive. If they do, dig them up as well.

  • Use a shovel, hoe, and other hand weeding tools to remove Creeping Charlie from the roots.
  • If new Creeping Charlie sprouts emerge, remove these too.
  • Wear gloves, goggles, and long sleeves to prevent an itchy rash from handling Creeping Charlie.

When removing Creeping Charlie by hand, make sure to wear long sleeves, heavy gloves, and eye protection. Many people experience skin rash and other allergic reactions on contact with Creeping Charlie. Protect yourself whenever you’re handling this plant to prevent a rash. When you have uprooted Creeping Charlie, bag and trash it to remove this pest.

Will Trimec Kill Creeping Charlie?

Trimec herbicide is another selective herbicide that kills Creeping Charlie. Trimec contains Dicamba, which is included in our list of effective Creeping Charlie killers. The active ingredients in this Trimec herbicide are Dicamba, 2,4-D, and Mecoprop. Both 2,4-D and Dicamba work to wipe out Creeping Charlie. Trimec will kill stubborn ivy without harming the grass.

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How Do You Kill Creeping Charlie With Vinegar?

In order to kill Creeping Charlie with vinegar, you must spray it several times over the course of a few months. This is because vinegar won’t kill Creeping Charlie roots. In order to kill Creeping Charlie fast, use the following methods instead of vinegar:

  • Spray Creeping Charlie with Crossbow, a grass-safe herbicide.
  • Use Trimec or another herbicide that contains Dicamba.
  • Spray the Creeping Charlie weed with organic weed killer made from citrus oil.
  • Smother Creeping Charlie by covering it with a black tarp for 6 weeks.
  • Dig up Creeping Charlie with hand tools and dispose of it.

To promote a healthy lawn, it’s best to use selective herbicides to kill Creeping Charlie. Vinegar solutions will attack grass along with the weed, but many products will leave your grass unharmed. By choosing the right removal tactic, you can get rid of Creeping Charlie quickly.

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