Creeping buttercup, is it a weed?

Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens) is a 6 to 12 inch tall ground cover that produces yellow flowers in full sun to partial shade. Creeping buttercup gets its name from the runners the plant sends out that root and start new plants. Aptly categorized as a ground cover, creeping buttercup will take over any ground it covers.

A weed, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.”

As as creeping buttercup is in bloom, making it a lovely addition to the garden, it fully fits the definition of a weed. It will end up choking out other plants. To get rid of creeping buttercup, or attempt to get rid of it, pull small plants out by the root and dig out larger plants. Runners may have already set away from the plants you are digging out, so more may appear. Be diligent.

If you like the appearance of creeping buttercup, bright yellow alyssum is a good substitute. This perennial is the same low height of creeping buttercup but expand out to less than two feet.

Picture courtesy dichohecho