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Creeping Charlie vs Wild Violet: How to Identify & Kill These Weeds


If you think Creeping Charlie and Wild Violet sound like two crazy characters you wouldn’t invite to your garden party, you’re right.

They’d trash the place.

Actually, they’re weeds. And they’d still trash the place.

Getting rid of these wily weeds gets even tougher because they look a lot alike.

Do you have Creeping Charlie or Wild Violet? Which one? If so, then what?

Here’s a look.

Creeping Charlie (Also Called Ground Ivy)

This tenacious perennial gets its name from its creeping stems that grow along the ground. Those stems, and its seeds, are how it spreads. And spreads.

Creeping Charlie is a green vine with round, scalloped-edge leaves and small purple flowers. It grows close to the ground and forms a mat-like ground cover.

Creeping Charlie lawn weedWild violet is also a low-growing perennial weed that spreads in patches. But it’s actually pretty, covered in purple flowers.

wild violet lawn weed Creeping Charlie can sometimes be mistaken for wild violet because of their similar flower color and leaves.

Creeping Charlie or Wild Violet: How to Tell?

To tell them apart, look closely at the leaves. If they’re heart-shaped with sawtooth-like serrations on the edges, then it's probably wild violet. The leaves of Creeping Charlie have a more pronounced scalloped edge.

Another good hint: the leaves of Creeping Charlie smell like mint if you crush them.

How to Get Rid of Creeping Charlie

Like most lawn weeds, Creeping Charlie thrives in an unhealthy lawn. So, a healthy lawn is your best defense.

But if it strikes, it’s tough to conquer. It’s not affected by most broadleaf herbicides.

spot spraying lawn for weeds If you have just one or two of these stubborn invaders, pull them out by hand. But if it’s a large patch, that may not be a good idea.

Creeping Charlie will reproduce from its seeds but it also spreads rapidly by growing more roots along its stems.

So if you pull out this weed but miss any stems or throw them into other parts of your lawn, you’re actually creating more Creeping Charlie. Not cool.

When necessary, we tackle Creeping Charlie with a tough, specialty liquid weed control with multiple applications throughout the year. This tough weed requires a professional-grade weed killer. The stuff you can buy at the home improvement store won’t do the job.

A Bit More About Wild Violet

Don’t be fooled by this weed’s pretty face. Like Creeping Charlie, wild violet is tough to control. The weeds emerge from April through September, a long window.

Pre-emergent herbicides don’t affect it. Creeping Charlie or wild violet? They both typically need multiple herbicide applications to control it. They love to stick around and annoy you.

Wild Violet vs. Creeping Charlie: Preventing Them in Wisconsin and Minnesota

Wild violet vs. creeping Charlie: they have another thing in common. Preventing them is easier than getting rid of them. A thick, healthy lawn is the best way to prevent these weeds — and all weeds.

lawn care team sprays liquid fertilizer You’ve heard this here before, but it’s worth repeating: Weeds hate healthy lawns.

A few key tips:

Mow High

We know, it’s tempting to mow even lower than usual to mow down Creeping Charlie or wild violet. It’s super satisfying. But it doesn’t work that way.

lawn-mower-g514861c34_1280 Taller grass helps a lawn grow thicker. Mow too short, and the soil heats up, helping those pesky weed seeds to germinate.

Shorter grass also has a weaker root system, which makes it more susceptible to weeds.

Proper Watering

A lawn that’s too wet or too dry encourages weeds like wild violet and Creeping Charlie.

irrigation technician adjust sprinkler heads So follow all the tried and true watering rules, like watering before sunrise, and not watering your lawn every day.

You could also invest in a professionally installed irrigation system to help water your lawn correctly and efficiently — one big worry off your list.

Read The Essential Guide to Lawn Care in Minnesota & Wisconsin

A Proactive Lawn Care Program

Weeds like wild violet and Creeping Charlie are always hard at their sinister work, even when you can’t see them.

lawn care technician meets with clients That’s why you need a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes both weed preventative and curative treatments from early spring to late fall to battle weeds like wild violet or Creeping Charlie.

Battling Creeping Charlie or Wild Violet in Eau Claire, WI or Minneapolis? RainMaster Can Help

Like pesky party guests, Violet and Charlie don’t know when to leave. You need to give them the boot.

Let’s work together to be the bouncers and create a custom nutrition plan for your lawn, so the roots will be nourished, the soil packed with nutrients, and your grass so thick and healthy, weeds like Creeping Charlie and wild violet will have a tough fight ahead of them.

But if they do show up, we’re ready.

Are you ready to stop battling lawn weeds in your Eau Claire, WI or Minneapolis lawn? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Image Source: Lawn MowerCreeping Charlie, Wild Violet

Topics: Lawn Care

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