All Things Gardening forum: Learning to love houttuynia

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Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
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dana
Jan 3, 2017 9:33 AM CST
We moved in to this house in aug And I'm planning my attack on the garden for this spring . We have a border about 100' of houttuynia. There is a hydrangea and some crape myrtles, holly.. but mostly it's houttuynia. It's in full sun and dosnt seem to be invading the grass or any other part. I've done some exploring and the roots only go down about 4 inches and are not that compact . My main plant is roses. and what I want is to plant a mixed bed of arborvitae for privacy bc we can see the neighbors deck. And some roses some vigorous ones on their own roots. A butterfly bush here and there ... maybe some other deep rooted woody shrub .. how will those do with the houttuynia.. I'm not going to be pulling out all those spaghetti roots nor do I want to use any herbesides. so I plan to learn to love it. Next question. Besides woody shrubs what else might coexist with this plant. Hollyhocks (taproot) ... any suggestions would be appreciated.. my husband absolutely loves this plant he says it looks so lush when its growing hahaha. That brown strip isn't mulch it's the dead houttuynia leaves
Thumb of 2017-01-03/dana/f08834

[Last edited by dana - Jan 3, 2017 9:36 AM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 3, 2017 12:00 PM CST
I like the houttuynia but I keep mine confined to containers - I do not plant it in the landscape.

If the houttuynia is growing along your fence line it may invade your neighbor's yard. If you are determined to keep the plant I would put a physical barrier to keep the plant from spreading outside of your property.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jan 3, 2017 12:39 PM CST
@Greene - you're a very wise person.

@Dana - please read the experiences of others with this ultimate garden thief. Yes, it is the most beautiful weed but having dug down 2' to get roots I know they don't limit themselves to the top four inches of soil. Also, it will invade lawns and the area behind the fence.

Fishwort (Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon')

I have 819 photos of all my efforts to eliminate it and ended up removing hundreds of daylilies, some peonies, etc. and then found more sprouts, which I now kill as I spot them.
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
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dana
Jan 3, 2017 3:43 PM CST
greene said:I like the houttuynia but I keep mine confined to containers - I do not plant it in the landscape.

If the houttuynia is growing along your fence line it may invade your neighbor's yard. If you are determined to keep the plant I would put a physical barrier to keep the plant from spreading outside of your property.

They have pampas grass on the other side lol so they keep each other in check
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
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dana
Jan 3, 2017 4:04 PM CST
pirl said:@Greene - you're a very wise person.

@Dana - please read the experiences of others with this ultimate garden thief. Yes, it is the most beautiful weed but having dug down 2' to get roots I know they don't limit themselves to the top four inches of soil. Also, it will invade lawns and the area behind the fence.

Fishwort (Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon')
thanks pirl Id like to see what you did! Maybe i dug in a section that wasn't fully developed. I'm not sure how long this has been there most of the landscape is mature so I'm guessing mid to late 90s. The previous owner has planted every thug. Ivy morning glories vinca, trumpet creeper which I spent aug sept and oct digging up runners before I planted the roses I took with me. So far it's not gotten into the grass and the neighbors have pampas grass alongside their fence . So I'm not worried about it getting in their yard. If it stays where it is and I can plant some things in it I may be able to live with it . If any one has pictures of it behaving with other plants I would feel much better Crying

I have 819 photos of all my efforts to eliminate it and ended up removing hundreds of daylilies, some peonies, etc. and then found more sprouts, which I now kill as I spot them.


Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jan 6, 2017 1:00 PM CST
Since you only want to plant bushes you should be fine. I have it planted in a area and what I have the following...
Blue Star juniper
Irises
Arborvitae
Barberry.. one is red and a yellow color
Euonymus 'Emerald 'n' Gold.'
Black Lace Elderberry
Spring Bulbs

This area has been there living happy for eight years.

I am probably like the previous owner of your house I plant aggressive ground cover for a reason. Pa have a termite problem so I do not use mulch or as little as possible. I like the look of informal gardens I do not like a plant space another plant and more space. That look does not look natural to my eye. Last, I do not have time to do a lot of weeding planting close is the best of both in my world.

I even have a Bishop weed garden.


Thumb of 2017-01-06/Cinta/ee9989

[Last edited by Cinta - Jan 6, 2017 5:45 PM (+)]
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Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
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dana
Jan 7, 2017 7:13 AM CST
Cinta said:Since you only want to plant bushes you should be fine. I have it planted in a area and what I have the following...
Blue Star juniper
Irises
Arborvitae
Barberry.. one is red and a yellow color
Euonymus 'Emerald 'n' Gold.'
Black Lace Elderberry
Spring Bulbs

This area has been there living happy for eight years.

I am probably like the previous owner of your house I plant aggressive ground cover for a reason. Pa have a termite problem so I do not use mulch or as little as possible. I like the look of informal gardens I do not like a plant space another plant and more space. That look does not look natural to my eye. Last, I do not have time to do a lot of weeding planting close is the best of both in my world.

I even have a Bishop weed garden.


Thumb of 2017-01-06/Cinta/ee9989



What's the saying weeds are flowers too once you get to know them lol. I plant natural looking closely planted beds too. And this year I'm going to focus on host plants and plants natural to the local area as companions to my more ornamental loves. I caused a termite problem in our first house with using logs for border edges. D'Oh! this here gets about 2 ft high it's in full sun it didn't get watered last year so it seems to be behaving. I'd like to plant anything that will coexist. Thanks for the suggestions! Id rather learn to enjoy it then and let it be full and nice then spend the rest of my life picking random ones out. It's edible but I heard from s friend that it's discusting lol.
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
Image
dana
Jan 7, 2017 7:18 AM CST
Cinta said:Since you only want to plant bushes you should be fine. I have it planted in a area and what I have the following...
Blue Star juniper
Irises
Arborvitae
Barberry.. one is red and a yellow color
Euonymus 'Emerald 'n' Gold.'
Black Lace Elderberry
Spring Bulbs

This area has been there living happy for eight years.

I am probably like the previous owner of your house I plant aggressive ground cover for a reason. Pa have a termite problem so I do not use mulch or as little as possible. I like the look of informal gardens I do not like a plant space another plant and more space. That look does not look natural to my eye. Last, I do not have time to do a lot of weeding planting close is the best of both in my world.

I even have a Bishop weed garden.


Thumb of 2017-01-06/Cinta/ee9989


Lillies would do good too in the houttuynia I'm guessing.. those look pretty happy there
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Jan 7, 2017 7:19 PM CST
The houttuynia here the former owners planted strangled the shrubs in with it. And a small tree. It was a most monstrous fight to remove it. But worth it. Seedlings still come up and I promptly kill them. I suspect I will have to be vigilant and fight it as long as I live here!
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jan 7, 2017 11:10 PM CST
@jvdubb

I wonder why we have a different experience. The trees and bushes seem to be doing good. They were small new from the nursery and all are huge now. They are did not have a growth stunt in fact they grew like they were on steroids.
Name: dana aka iris28
tristate area, ky z6b
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Irises
Image
dana
Jan 8, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Cinta said:@jvdubb

I wonder why we have a different experience. The trees and bushes seem to be doing good. They were small new from the nursery and all are huge now. They are did not have a growth stunt in fact they grew like they were on steroids.


Yes this is what is giving me trouble bc I've read lots on this plant and it's either moderately vigorous or horrendous and it's not a zone thing because people
In the same zones have different experiences. I'm
Guessing something that likes less water would do better with it because if you plant something that has high water needs you will just be feeding the houttuynia more?

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