P&PDL Picture of the Week for
May 24, 2004

Controlling Ground Ivy (Creeping Charlie)???

Glenn Hardebeck, Turfgrass Research Agronomist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

Ground Ivy is often lumped into the “Hard to Control Weed” category with other weeds such as wild violet. While controlling ground ivy is difficult, it is at least one rung on the ladder below that of controlling wild violet. Controlling wild violet is difficult due to its extensive underground root system, which enables violet to spread by using rhizomes (thick underground spreading roots). Ground ivy has no such underground root system. Instead, ground ivy spreads on top of the ground by using stolons or runners much like that of strawberries. What this means in terms of control is that violets can regrow from the extensive root system while ground ivy regrows from uncontrolled plants on the surface.

Control: Control begins by improving the turfgrass stand through sound fertility practices and maintaining the lawn at a reasonable mowing height (2.5” to 3.5”). (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/publicat.htm) Space that is unoccupied by turf will be occupied by weeds. Broadleaf weed controls containing triclopyr by itself or combination products of 2,4-D, MCPP, and dicamba can be used effectively to reduce ground ivy populations. Spray applications are better than dry spreadable materials when applied at the correct rate and uniformly. Multiple applications will likely be needed so that those ivy plants that escape the first application cannot spread back into the lawn.

Rotate and Repeat treatments: Apply either triclopyr or the combination product in the spring at or just after the ground ivy flowers. In mid to late September, rotate to the other chemical and reapply that same chemical again 3-4 weeks later in October. The cooler weather may reduce the short-term visual effect but the long-term control is actually better in the fall. To avoid future ground ivy problems, it is important to maintain a competitive turf and eliminate any encroaching ivy plants early by spot spraying.

A past Pic of the Week by Glenn Nice concerning ground ivy identification can be found at http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/ppdl/weeklypics/Weekly_Picture4-15-02-1.html


Click image to enlarge

Ground Ivy flowering during early May.

Ground Ivy during spring of 2003.

Same spot early May 2004 after one spring treatment and two fall treatments during 2003.

An example of a Three-way combination product containing MCPP, 2,4-D and Dicamba.

An example of a product containing Triclopyr.



Cicadas Are Here!!

For more information on cicadas in Indiana, please see our list of links and resources

Cicadas on pole

Photo courtesy of Chris Parker


Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service