Weedy vines growing in our hedges are completely taking over! We want to kill...

Asked May 15, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Weedy vines growing in our hedges are completely taking over! We want to kill them (safely) but not harm our hedges. I am attaching a photo of these crazy vines. Any help you can provide would be great - thanks in advance for your assistance.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

This is Creeping Charlie, also known as ground ivy, a non-native invasive lawn weed.
Normally, it invades lawns and gardening beds, but when it is growing rampantly in the wet, cool spring weather that it loves, it will reach upward 1-2 feet. It is not a true vine, however. It is a member of the mint family, and like all mints it has square stems.
It's very common, unfortunately.

Like all invasives, it is a tough plant to get rid of. Do not let it produce flowers, as flowers make seeds and seeds persist in the soil and then you'll be fighting it even longer. There is no herbicide that will selectively kill it in your hedge. It would be worth your time to pull it out by hand and then spray the creeping Charlie in the adjacent lawn. See our website publication: Broadleaf Weed Control in Established Lawns http://www.mdturfcouncil.org/admin/uploadfiles/tt-49-broadleaf-weed-control.pdf.
Look in the chart for "ground ivy". Herbicides that have Trimec should have the listed ingredients for creeping Charlie. It is very important to realize that this is a tough plant and that timing is crucial. Two applications in the fall, spaced 3 weeks apart, starting in early fall, may give you the best bang for your buck.