Dictionary of Flowers: Glecoma (Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy)

Glecoma (Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Frank Mayfield and Flickr
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Glecoma (Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy). Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of Frank Mayfield and Flickr

  • Glecoma
  • Common name: creeping charlie, ground ivy
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Category: Perennial in USDA zones 3 and warmer, grown as an annual
  • Height: 4"
  • Width: 6"
  • Sun/shade
  • Blooms: grown for foliage interest
  • Growth habit: creeping, trailing. Used as filler or spiller in container combinations
  • Maintenance: easy
  • Soil: average to fertile, well drained. Water regularly if grown in containers
  • Garden uses: containers, hanging baskets, groundcover, houseplant
  • Diseases: generally disease free
  • Pests: pest free

Native to Europe and naturalized in North America, creeping charlie is best used in containers, as it can escape cultivation in the garden and become invasive, like most plants in the Lamiaceae family (mints).

It spreads fast by both seed and by roots growing from the stem's nodes.

The leaves are rounded and scalloped at the edges. It produces small blue snapdragon like flowers. 

It is useful for containers and hanging baskets kept in shade. Variegated varieties are available. They are less invasive than the green creeping charlie, however it is only hardy to USDA zone six.

Ground ivy is very easy to grow. It likes most soils, from average to fertile, sandy or rocky. It prefers moist soils, but will tolerate drier conditions as well.

In containers, regular potting soil and a regular watering schedule will keep it growing. Shear after bloom to prevent it from going to seed and escaping cultivation in containers. It doesn't really require fertilizing to thrive.

Plantlets can be grown in pots as indoor plants during winter in a bright light spot. It thrives in shade, but will grow in full sun if additional water is provided.




IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

To propagate, separate plantlets from the parent plant and repot. It can also be propagated from division.

It is not bothered by pests or disease.

Popular varieties:

  • Glecoma variegata - the leaves are variegated with white edges. Flowers are light blue purple

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Full List of Dictionary of Flowers Entries

Annuals For Containers

Perennials For Containers

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