The Q&A Archives: Rooting a Chameleon

Question: Someone gave me a piece of chameleon today. When I planted it this afternoon in a pot, I found the stem was not connected to the roots. I had a ball of dirt and real thin roots. I planted the roots and the stem in soggy soil and plan to keep it soggy since I heard they like a lot of moisture. Should I go about trying to get this plant started another way? I live in Jackson Tennessee and the plant is under the overhang of my house facing south.

Answer: Your chameleon (Houttuynia cordata) cutting will grow roots either in a glass of water or in moist soil. This plant can be quite invasive so be careful where you plant it! The roots travel down to about 2' and out as far as you will allow. New shoots can emerge anywhere from the roots so the plant tends to overtake a large area. If you plant it in the ground, be aware that it can spread quite a distance from the original plant.

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