The Q&A Archives: Houttuynia Cordata(chameleon)

Question: I would like to know more about this plant - what it needs and how to take care of it - pruning, watering, etc.

Answer: This plant is a hardy, spreading perennial (to zone 6) that prefers moist, even boggy soil. It is occasionally used in water gardens as a potted bog or "marginal" plant in shallow water. In situations where it is happy it can become invasive so be very careful about where you plant it. In a location that is too dry it will spread more slowly and the foliage may burn; it will grow in shade in drier soil or in full sun with ample water, so it is fairly adaptable. It dies back in freezing weather and resprouts in the spring. Clean away any foliage debris in late fall or early spring; it should need no pruning.

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