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White Pied Gundermann

Gundermann, also known under the name Gundelrebe, is a stubborn herb that can spread rapidly and clog the lawn severely within a short period of time. It is therefore necessary to control Glechoma hederacea to stop the proliferation of the plant with the blue-purple flowers, since its nodular roots can damage pools, ponds and terraces. The question often arises: is it recommended to scarify when infested with ground ivy?


Due to its sprawling growth, the common ground ivy is effectively busy running through every lawn. Although the flowers are not unsightly and the plant is even edible, the infestation in grasses and low plants causes the following problems:

  • lack of light
  • nutrient deficiency
  • lack of water
  • higher susceptibility to fungi
  • higher susceptibility to bacteria
Ground ivy, Glechoma hederacea

The flowers and leaves of the ground ivy are particularly noticeable on well-tended lawns with little or no wild growth. Combating this mint is extremely difficult because it is very fast self seeding operates and thus gets out of control within a short time. The following points will help you to consistently avoid an infestation by the real gondola vine:


1. Mowing

You should mow your lawn regularly to keep the length of the grass between 4 cm and 5 cm high. As a result, the ground ivy seeds no longer receive sufficient light to germinate. Although the seeds germinate in the dark, they need some light, which mowing will deny them, as long as you don't cut too short. Because mowing makes the lawn stronger and grows denser, the plant can no longer settle so easily. In addition, mowing the lawn reduces the nitrogen content in the soil, which must be quite high for ground ivy.

2. Remove lawn clippings

After mowing, you should remove all clippings as thoroughly as possible. Lawn clippings mean that nitrogen can accumulate in the soil and thus offer ideal properties for the colonization of creeping ivy. Wet grass clippings in particular should be removed as quickly as possible.

3. Control

Check your lawn regularly to take immediate countermeasures at the first sign of the plant. You can recognize the ground ivy immediately by the two cotyledons that stand out sharply from the lawn. If you do this carefully, you can save yourself a lot of work afterwards.

The preventive measures are not always successful, especially when there are many specimens in other gardens or nearby and the seed is carried to your garden by the wind. Especially the training of node roots must be stopped as the growth will spread over it, making it difficult to combat efficiently.

tip: Despite the nickname "creeping ivy", ground ivy is not a poisonous plant. The flowers of the herb were used as a substitute for pepper in the Middle Ages, while the leaves can be eaten raw in salads or just as they are, as they contain numerous flavonoids, essential oils and pectins together with the flowers.



If you want to fight an acute infestation by the ground ivy or the prevention hasn't worked, you have to be even more active against the stubborn growth. Be aware, however, that "fighting" Glechoma hederacea can be tedious and exhausting. It is particularly important to get the plants out of the ground early enough, as the roots are only slightly developed when they are young. That means you can start as early as March, before flowering appears. You have the following three methods to choose from:

by hand

Put on a sturdy pair of gardening gloves and start plucking the plants out of the soil one at a time. Use the adult specimens as a guide, which are clearly visible due to their size. Depending on how far it has spread, you may follow a plant up to two meters across the lawn, as the runners and roots can reach such an extent. You'll need to be extremely thorough here to defeat the ground ivy. This work is best done in a group.


Weeders work wonders against ground ivy because they are flat-rooted. Here you simply check the lawn for the plants, apply the tool and pull the weeds out of the ground with a jerk. This method is particularly gentle on your back, as you do not have to bend over the lawn and repeatedly pull the earth ivy out of the ground with pure muscle power.


weed killer

This variant is particularly easy because you hardly have to do it yourself. However, you should make sure that you choose the right product. To control ground ivy, choose a weed killer that specializes in dicots. When using it, it is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions, but the following points can make it easier for you to use:

  • always apply at least one meter away from beds
  • Do not keep the lawn too moist to prevent the weed killer from spreading further
  • Distribute evenly to really get all the tails

About two months later you should reseed the lawn seeds. Not sooner, because the destroyer remains in the ground for this period of time.

Fertilize & Dispose

In addition to the above methods, you should fertilize in a specific way to lower the nitrogen content of the soil and thus combat ground ivy even more effectively. Your lawn will lose some of its color, but that's not a big deal, because the ground ivy will die off as a result. A well-tended lawn is resilient enough to make up for the lack of nutrients, but ground ivy is not. The following guide will help you:

  • stop normal fertilizer additions
  • do not fertilize until ivy has died
  • then use fast-acting nitrogen fertilizers
  • Urea, ammonium or nitrate are well suited
  • alternatively administer small amounts of natural fertilizer

Finally, don't immediately compost the plants you've pulled out of the ground. The reason for this is the seeds, because even now they can run away and undo all your work. As long as the uprooted specimens have moisture available, the seeds do not dry up and can be carried away by the wind. In order to fight the plants for a long time, you should put them on the terrace or stone slabs to dry. That finishes them off.

tip: There are numerous products on the market that are specifically intended to help against ground ivy. However, the results are not really satisfactory and can damage the lawn even more in the long run.

Scarify or not?

Scarifying the lawn when it is infested with ground ivy is not recommended, as compacted soil offers better protection against the plant. However, compacted soil does not guarantee that creeping ivy will not infest, as the roots and shoots are robust and strong. Nevertheless, scarifying can help against earth ivy, which is explained by the following points:

1. Compacted soil degrades lawn quality. Poor lawn quality means that the lawn is more vulnerable and thins out. The ground ivy seeds are just waiting for such circumstances, as they have less competition when germinating.

2. A compacted soil offers ideal conditions for the colonization of weeds. These weeds, in turn, can be infected by ground ivy's fungi and bacteria, which can take a toll on your lawn.

3. Scarifying loosens the soil but allows roots and runners that have already developed to be removed. This means that when you work on the lawn with the scarifier, you can immediately see where the plant has settled and can systematically remove it.

After scarifying, it pays to distribute enough lawn seed to keep the lawn dense and healthy. Only the compacted areas of the lawn should be scarified, as these are particularly susceptible to weeds and diseases. It is best to scarify twice over the entire season and then distribute new seed. The healthier your lawn, the denser it will be, making it difficult for ground ivy seeds to take root. However, you should not use the scarifier if you do not sow afterwards, as this will make it easier for the common ground ivy to germinate in your garden.

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