Posted by pirl
(Southold, Long Island, NY - Zone 7a) on Aug 24, 2014 9:16 PM concerning plant:
If you could translate "the worst pain imaginable" to plant form, the name would be Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'. The most mortifying and embarrassing part of it is that I bought it and I planted it, thinking it would look lovely among the daylilies, and it did! Here, in full sun with watering by the irrigation system three times a week, it found its own private earthly paradise. It went left, right, backwards, and into the lawn. I'm only surprised that it didn't climb the trees! Eventually it covered 50' x 12', and many days of digging 8 hours a day only seemed to invigorate it. The most infinitesimal piece, left in the earth by accident, will begin the entire process again. Words fail me when trying to describe its energy and resiliency.
I sprayed with Roundup and it reacted as though I had fed it. I covered the entire area with black plastic, thanks to a friend's advice, and after eight months of that highly unattractive "garden," I removed the plastic and began spraying any new sprouts with full-strength Poison Ivy Killer. Now, just one sprig has me running for the killer.
I've gardened for over 50 years and this was the worst problem I've ever faced.
Posted by jvdubb
(48036 MI - Zone 6b) on Aug 24, 2014 6:53 PM concerning plant:
In my zone 6 yard this plant is a NIGHTMARE! The previous owners planted it in a northside bed. It completely took over, to the extent of choking and killing shrubs. Then it jumped the metal edging and started into the lawn. When I first moved in I did not know what it was, just that I wanted to get rid of it. I sprayed it with Roundup over and over and it just kept coming back. Then I decided to dig it out. Awful! It has a horrible smell that is nearly impossible to get off your hands. There are very deep runner roots that sustain this plant, so merely removing the top growth will get you nowhere. It took me two years to relatively clear this bed. I literally dug out the bed two feet down and sifted the soil to try and remove every piece of root. I still find a bit coming up here and there. But I remove it immediately. I suspect it will always be there!
Posted by Catmint20906
(PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 27, 2014 7:12 PM concerning plant:
I thought Houttuynia (Houttuynia cordata) 'Chameleon' was so pretty in the nursery with its multicolored leaves. Fortunately, the nursery employee warned me that it was very aggressive and suggested I plant it in a container. I did so, thankfully (I'm in zone 7a). Then I noticed the roots pushing forcefully through the bottom of the container, and lo and behold: Flower stalks appeared with a zillion seeds each. I began removing the flower stalks as soon as I saw them, but they kept coming. Finally, I decided it wasn't worth the risk and removed the plant. After reading the many horror stories about this plant, I am still grateful to the nursery employee who gently warned me about it.
Posted by sedumzz
(Fairfax, VA - Zone 7a) on Sep 13, 2021 12:55 PM concerning plant:
Don't get this plant unless you grow it in a pot in a very secluded place. Even then, make sure seed pods don't form.
It is highly aggressive, propagating itself through cuttings and seeds.
Posted by NJBob
(Vernon N.J. - Zone 6a) on Oct 5, 2011 10:27 PM concerning plant:
Very invasive and very hard to get rid of if you decide it's not for you. So be careful where you plant it.
Posted by Bonehead
(Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Sep 29, 2014 12:21 PM concerning plant:
I use this as a ground cover for a hosta bed. It has not overstepped its boundaries, although it does get a a bit over-eager in growth. I just pull it back to the ground, knowing it will rebound quickly. It does brighten up the shady corner, and offsets the hosta nicely. On the negative side - I cannot abide the smell of the foliage, which is quite sharp. I also find the variegation tends to revert back to solid green (I try to pull those out entirely but don't always get them all). As others have noted, I would hesitate to put this in a bed that cannot be closely controlled.
Posted by Sharon
(Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Sep 29, 2011 4:14 PM concerning plant:
This little plant is a happy ground cover for shady areas. It has a tiny white bloom, much like a strawberry plant in mid spring. It is considered invasive in some climates, but it has taken 4 years for it to fill in a 2' x 4' semi shaded area here in zone 6/7.