Can You Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Invasive Creeping Charlie?

If you have a home garden, then you have to be prepared to deal with the ugly as well as see the beautiful. Your fruits and flowers will bring you joy, but weed growth is a monster that never quite goes away, always rearing its menacing head and waiting to strike. One of the most annoying types of weeds you don't want to find in your yard is creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) or ground ivy. These weeds are a bother to kick out and a major threat to your plants. Like many other homeowners, you may decide to go the natural approach to get rid of the weeds from your garden using household products like vinegar instead of harsh chemicals. Vinegar is acidic and known to kill weeds. Fortunately, it will be able to help knock off some parts of your creeping Charlie.

Creeping Charlie is a dreaded weed because not only does it run along the ground, covering the soil up as it goes, but it also inhibits the growth of other plants around it by releasing chemical substances. It comes from the mint family so the leaves resemble mints and the flowers are typically pale purple. The reason why vinegar is so potent against creeping Charlie, and weeds in general, is that it contains acetic acid. Acetic acid breaks down cell membranes of plant tissue on contact, leading to their death. The process for eliminating them is so simple that you can fix up your garden without breaking a sweat.

Use cleaning grade vinegar on creeping Charlie

According to a 2002 study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (via Missouri State University Library), applying 12% vinegar to creeping Charlie turned its leaves brown within two hours and by the six-day mark, the plant was dead. Because household distilled white vinegar only contains anywhere from 4% to 7% acetic acid, you may want to get one with a higher concentration. The higher the concentration, the more potent the vinegar will be against the creeping Charlie. You have to buy cleaning-grade vinegar to get up to 30% vinegar which means taking a short trip down to your Home Depot for a 128-ounce container of Harris All-Purpose Cleaning Vinegar. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the creeping Charlie weeds dead-on. 

The downside to using vinegar as a herbicide is that it only destroys the parts of the weed that it comes in contact with. If regrowth occurs, multiple applications may help weaken the plant. Be careful with the surrounding plants in your garden, though, as vinegar doesn't discriminate. All plants are fair game with it comes to damage from vinegar, so make sure you properly aim at and fire on the weeds. Creeping Charlie loves shade and abandoned yards so be vigilant when eradicating it. If properly done, using vinegar will help you see those creeping Charlies dead and gone and lead to a revitalized garden.