The Q&A Archives: Information On Houttuynia

Question: I purchased a beautiful perennial sold as a ground cover named Houttuynia. It is variegated, from off white to green to patches of pink and scarlet. There are white, occasionally scarlet, flowers. It has done well in partial shade. What further information can you give me about it? Will it grow in full sun? How do I transplant it?

Answer: Houttuynia cordata needs ample water, but can grow in full sun, partial shade, or full shade. The plant will completely disappear in winter, even in mild temperatures. It can spread aggressively if soil is moist enough for its liking, so it's easy to transplant. It spreads by underground rhizomes. Simply dig a portion of the plant and move it where you want it. If you don't want it to spread, cut off the bottom of a large plastic pot, plant houttuynia in it, and sink the entire thing into the ground. This allows for drainage but inhibits the spread. Enjoy your plant!

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