NC State Extension Publications

Description

Ground ivy is a perennial with creeping stems, which root at the node. It forms dense patches and thrives in both sun and shade. The leaves are scalloped along the margin, heavily veined and rough on the upper surface. Funnel-shaped blue to violet flowers are found in clusters in leaf axils and occur in the spring. Ground ivy is similar to henbit in some respects but roots at stem nodes whereas henbit does not. Common mallow is also similar but has round stems and alternate leaves.

Cultural Control

Improving surface drainage, aerating when needed, and watering infrequently will help reduce ground ivy encroachment.

Chemical Control


Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) (Tenacity) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: For use in residential and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, golf course fairways and roughs, roadsides, utility right-of-ways, railways, and industrial areas. Apply to turf following a second mowing if a good root system has been established. Apply up to 12 fluid ounces per acre to bentgrass at 0.5 inch or higher, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Apply 18 to 24 fluid ounces per acre to perennial bluegrass, tall fescue, and all warm season grasses except St. Augustinegrass (do not apply) and bermudagrass (apply 18 to 36 fluid ounces per acre). For sod production, apply 6 months after establishment, and do not harvest within 3 months. Do not apply with adjuvants or surfactants. [Sulfentrazone + prodiamine should not be applied to cool-season turf with N-containing fertilizers unless some short-term discoloration is tolerable.​
Postemergence Control
mecoprop, MOA 4 (various brands) 1.9 L 1 to 1.5 fl oz 2.7 to 4 pt 0.64 to 0.95
1.16 L 1.5 to 2.25 fl oz 4 to 6 pt 0.58 to 0.87
1.74 L 0.75 to 1.5 fl oz 2 to 4 pt 0.43 to 0.87
Precaution and Remarks: Observe same precaution as for 2,4-D. May be used on bentgrass, carpetgrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and other turfgrasses.
[2,4-D amine + fluroxypyr + dicamba], MOA 4 + 4 + 4 (4 SL) (various brands) 0.36 to 1.1 fl oz 1 to 3 pt 0.5 to 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: Use on perennial bluegrass and ryegrass, tall fescue, creeping bentgrass (excluding greens and tees), bermudagrass species, bahiagrass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass in residential, industrial, and institutional lawns, parks, cemeteries, athletic fields, golf courses, and sod farms. Use on St. Augustinegrass sod farms only. Apply 1 to 2 pints per acre on creeping bentgrass and 1.5 to 1.8 pints per acre on warm season turf grown for sod. Apply 2 to 3 pints per acre to all other turf areas. For non-turf areas, rate can be increased to 2 to 5 pinst per acre. Application can be made to grass seedlings after second mowing and to newly sodded, sprigged, or plugged grasses 3 to 4 weeks after operations.​
[MCPA amine + fluroxypyr ester + dicamba], MOA 4 + 4 + 4 (4.8 SL) (Change Up) 0.73 to 1.1 fl oz 2 to 3 pt 1.2 to 1.8
Precaution and Remarks: Same turf tolerances and uses as [2,4-D amine + fluroxypyr + dicamba] in addition to centipedegrass. Only spot treat St. Augustinegrass when temperature exceeds 80 degrees F. Do not apply more than two applications per year totaling 3 pints per acre. For non-turf areas, rate can be increased to 2 to 5 pints per acre. Application can be made to grass seedlings after second mowing and to newly sodded, sprigged, or plugged grasses 3 to 4 weeks after operations. Sod farm rates include 1.25 pints per acre for creeping bentgrass, 2 to 3 pints per acre for all other cool season grasses listed on label and 1.5 to 1.8 pints per acre for all warm season grasses listed on label.​
carfentrazone-ethyl, MOA 14 (1.9 EW) (various brands) 0.0126 to 0.048 fl oz 0.55 to 2.1 fl oz 0.008 to 0.031
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to bahiagrass, bermudagrass, buffalograss, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and bentgrass. To expand the weed spectrum and extend control of the weeds listed here and on the label, carfentrazone-ethyl can be tank mixed with the entire range of phenoxy products—amines, esters, and other salts—and is also compatible with dicamba, atrazine, glyphosate, glufosinate, clopyralid, triclopyr, and MSMA. When applied alone, add 0.12 to 0.25% nonionic surfactant.​
[carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.2 EC) (Speed Zone) 0.75 to 1.8 fl oz 2 to 5 pt 0.55 to 1.375
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on annual and perennial bluegrass, annual and perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue, creeping and colonial bentgrass, common and hybrid bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass. For use in ornamental turf, golf courses, lawns, sod farms, cemeteries, and parks. Optimum results when applied when temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees F but may be applied up to 90 degrees F. Lower rates may be used in cooler weather. Rainfast within 3 hr and may reseed after 2 week. May apply 3 to 4 wk after sodding, sprigging, or plugging. Also may be used on bahiagrass, buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, and kikuyugrass. May reseed after 1 week.​
carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba, MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (0.81 EC) (Speed Zone Southern) 0.55 to 2.2 fl oz 1.5 to 6 pt 0.1519 to 0.6075
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on annual and perennial bluegrass, annual and perennial ryegrass, tall and fine fescue, creeping and colonial bentgrass, common and hybrid bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass. For use in ornamental turf, golf courses, lawns, sod farms, cemeteries, and parks. Optimum results when applied when temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees F but may be applied up to 90 degrees F. Lower rates may be used in cooler weather. Rainfast within 3 hr and may reseed after 2 week. May apply 3 to 4 wk after sodding, sprigging, or plugging. Also may be used on bahiagrass, buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, seashore paspalum, and kikuyugrass. May reseed after 1 week.​
[carfentrazone + MCPA ester + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.91 EC) (Power Zone) 0.75 to 2.2 fl oz 2 to 6 pt 0.7275 to 2.1825
Precaution and Remarks: Same precautions and turf uses as [carfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + MCPP + dicamba] 2.2 EC except cannot be applied to creeping and colonial bentgrass.
penoxsulam + sulfentrazone + 2,4-D + dicamba (Avenue South) 1.0 to 2.2 fl oz 2.7 to 6 pt 0.271 to 0.602
Precaution and Remarks: May be used on established Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass, tall fescue, common and hybrid bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and seashore paspalum. Do not apply more than 2.7 pints per acre on fescue or perennial ryegrass unless turf injury can be tolerated. Do not apply more than 3.5 pints per acre on St. Augustinegrass unless injury, discoloration, stunting, and thinning can be tolerated.
[sulfentrazone + 2,4-D amine + MCPP + dicamba], MOA 14 + 4 + 4 + 4 (2.18 SL) (Surge) 0.92 to 1.84 fl oz 2.5 to 5 pt 0.68 to 1.36
Precaution and Remarks: Apply 2.5 to 3.25 pints per acre on warm season turf including bermudagrass species, zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, and buffalograss. Apply 3.25 to 4 pints per acre on cool season turf including species of bluegrass, ryegrass, fescue, and bentgrass (excluding greens and tees). 4 to 5 pints per acre needed to control corn speedwell and wild violet. Turf areas include residential, ornamental, institutional, and sod farms. Apply to grass seedlings after second mowing. Apply to sodded, sprigged, or plugged areas 3 to 4 weeks after operations. Treated areas may be reseeded 3 weeks after application.
[triclopyr ester + sulfentrazone + 2,4-D ester + dicamba], MOA 4 + 14 + 4 + 4 (2.51 EC) (Tzone SE) 0.75 to 1.5 fl oz 2 to 4 pt 0.628 to 1.26
Precaution and Remarks: Apply 2 to 2.25 pints per acre on fully dormant bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and bahiagrass. Apply 3.25 to 4 pints per acre on annual and perennial bluegrass and ryegrass, and tall, red, and fine fescue. Rainfast within 3 hours. Approved turf areas include residential, ornamental, institutional, noncropland, and sod farms. Apply to grass seedlings after the second or third mowing. Apply to sodded, sprigged, or plugged areas 3 to 4 weeks after operations. Treated areas may be reseeded 3 weeks after application.​
florasulam, MOA 2 (0.42 SC) (Defendor) 0.09 fl oz 4 fl oz 0.013125
Precaution and Remarks: Can be used on all established major warm and cool season turfgrass species in residential lawns, golf courses (excluding putting greens), sports fields, sod farms and commercial turf areas. Controls Carolina geranium, species of chickweed, clover and dandelion, vetch, dollarweed and common groundsel. Do not exceed 3 applications or 12 fluid ounces per acre per year. Apply to newly seeded or sprigged turf after third mowing or when tillering and secondary root development has occurred. Wait 4 weeks to reseed. When used alone, add a nonionic surfactant at 0.2% by volume. ​
penoxsulam, MOA 2 (various brands) 0.014 G 3.4 to 10.3 lb 150 to 450 lb 0.02 to 0.06
0.03 G 1.7 to 4.6 lb 75 to 200 lb 0.02 to 0.06
0.31 L 0.092 to 0.55 fl oz 0.25 to 1.5 pt 0.01 to 0.058
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to residential and commercial lawns, golf courses (excluding greens and tees), parks, athletic fields, and sod farms. Use on turf that has been mowed at least 3 times or sprigs that have developed secondary root systems. Apply up to 75 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 150 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. Apply up to 150 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 300 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine fescue. Apply up to 200 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 450 pounds per acre of 0.014 G to bermudagrass, centipedegreass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. Do not apply to dormant centipedegrass. Reapply at 4 weeks if needed but do not exceed 300 pounds per acre of 0.03 G or 650 pounds per acre of 0.014 G per season. After treatment, wait 3 to 4 weeks to reseed. Same statement as above concerning turf uses and reseeding intervals. Bermudagrass and kikuyugrass are the only warm season grasses labeled for use. Apply up to 1 pint per acre on bentgrass, 1.5 pint per acre on bermudagrass and kikuyugrass and 2 pints per acre on tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. Do not apply greater than 2.3 pints per acre per year. Surfactant not required.

Species Data

  • GROWTH SEASON / LIFE CYCLE
    • perennial weed
  • GROWTH HABIT
  • LEAFLET NUMBER
    • one
  • LEAF MARGIN
    • serrated/toothed; scalloped
  • LEAF HAIRS
  • LEAF / LEAFLET SHAPE
  • LEAF WIDTH
    • leaves vary in width, from more than 2 inches (50 mm) in diameter at the base of the plant to less than 12 inch (13 mm) for newly emerged leaves
  • LEAF VENATION
    • palmate; prominent veins
  • LEAF ARRANGEMENT
    • opposite
  • ROOT TYPE
    • roots are fibrous, but ground ivy also spreads via creeping stems that root at the node
  • FLOWER COLOR
Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 1. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 2. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 3. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 4. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 5. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 6. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 7. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy growth habit.

Figure 8. Ground ivy growth habit.

Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Figure 9. Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Figure 10. Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Figure 11. Ground ivy leaflet shape.

Ground ivy leaf hairs

Figure 12. Ground ivy leaf hairs.

Ground ivy flower color.

Figure 13. Ground ivy flower color.

Ground ivy flower color.

Figure 14. Ground ivy flower color.

Author:

Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist
Crop and Soil Sciences

Publication date: Nov. 16, 2017

Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by North Carolina Cooperative Extension nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Individuals who use agricultural chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For assistance, contact your county Cooperative Extension agent.

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