Want to safely eradicate pest plant in lawn

Asked October 10, 2019, 2:18 PM EDT

My mother lives on Crooked Lake in Alanson, Emmet county. A pest plant is taking over RIGHT along the lake wall. I think it’s Creeping Charlie. It is gradually marching into her lawn, and because of its aggressive growth habit I am losing the battle against it. Being on the water, we don’t want to use chemicals - lord, the thought of herbicide going into the lake! We really want to get rid of it, before the problem becomes even worse. Help please?

Emmet County Michigan

1 Response

You are correct that this is creeping Charlie, also known as ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea). This plant is an introduced herbaceous perennial. It reproduces primarily vegetatively through stolons and rhizomes, though it can also produce seed.

Ground ivy is a difficult-to-control weed in lawns. It often thrives in damp, shady areas of the lawn but can tolerate full sunlight. Hand removal can be effective with small patches of ground ivy, but persistence and patience will be required.

There are herbicides that are labeled for use in and near aquatic situations, should that become of interest. Triclopyr is likely the most effective active ingredient for controlling ground ivy and there are herbicides with this ingredient on the list. The list of approved products from the MI Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), these can be found at the following website: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/wrd-anc-approvedherbicides_445623_7.pdf

If there is visible water located near the site at the time of application or it is along the shoreline of the Great Lakes or Lake St. Claire a permit is required prior to making an herbicide application; contact the MI Department of EGLE Aquatic Nuisance Control Program Staff at (517) 284-5593 for more information.