Bernice H
Bernice H
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  • Woodburn, OR
Asked on Jun 20, 2012

Houttuynia Chameleon...I think I am in trouble

Bernice HSherrie SDiane S
+24

Answered

I planted this last year, it was so pretty,and NOW I am looking it up and what I read will probably interfere with my sleep tonight. According to the posts on Dave's Garden .com it is very invasive and almost impossible to kill. Evidently it takes over , does it KILL the other plants, like my hostas? And day lilies?
Walter Reeves is quoted on this site by one of the posters as saying something to the effect...it is a "Satan plant "or something like that. Anyone with experience with this?
I am so disheartened, I dont have the strength or energy to wage war. I do want to save my hostas.
27 answers
  • Dee W
    on Jun 20, 2012

    I just looked it up and what a beautiful plant! If you would like to keep this plant you can decide where you want it to grow and either dig a trench around it and lay in some of that plastic edging or you can cut the bottom out of flower pots or garbage cans and make rings about 6-7 inches to put in the ground and then transplant into these. Just keep your eye out for stragglers from where you dug it up. Good luck!

  • Lori J
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Our local greenhouse owner recommended cutting the bottoms out of five gallon buckets and putting them into the ground. I have used these very successfully to contain the spread of hostas and lilies. Just make sure that the buckets did not contain toxins.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Maybe it won't like there in Wa Bernice. I think Lori has a great idea, and I think you will just need to be very diligent with your maintenance if you want to keep it around.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 20, 2012

    If you have this somewhere it can be contained, as in somewhere bounded by a sidewalk, I think you will be OK. If you plant it in a pot in the ground, the pot should have minimal holes in the bottom. Keep a watchful eye.

  • Christy M
    on Jun 20, 2012

    beautiful plant- so sad that it's so much trouble!

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Well I planted it LAST year..................and now i see it spreading ...spreading.... I wonder if it wil kill, strangle my hostas etc?

  • Jerri T
    on Jun 20, 2012

    I'm so glad you posted. I purchased a plant w/o reading about its habits. I just got my Snow on the Mountain cleaned out and don't want to get another aggressive plant in my garden. I'll just pot the one I have and enjoy it on the patio for the summer.

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Yep, I wish I had read up about it before, now I see it as the enemy,creeping into my hostas. And we just worked so hard on this little garden. I will have to post pictures of this "beautiful' creeper, before I start trying to pull its roots. But we ALREADY struggle with THE NEIGHBOR'S little morning glory stuff, it is all over. I am so careful when I pull it not to even leave a leaf or stem, but it is always there, now THIS!! I have learned my lesson, I will do a thorough check before putting smething unknown out there. Reading those people's comments made me very heart heavy! Like a big ; OH NOO!

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 20, 2012

    And supposedly it has a strong unpleasant odor to some, pleasant to others. sheesh! I will let you know how it smells here when I pull some of this THING! This is like something out of a science fiction movie, remember the killer tomato plant movie?

  • Dee W
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Better than it being "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" lol

  • Lori J
    on Jun 20, 2012

    I have snow on the mountain in my shade garden. It is slowly spreading, as I hoped it would, but not in a way that is aggressive. I think it depends on where you plant it.

  • Christy M
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Bernice- at least it is fabulous... I mean if it does invade it's a good karma chameleon!

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Here's a couple of pictures, not very good but you get the idea. The yellowish red green leaves are this creeper, beginning to surround the johnnies and hostas.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Bernice H, not knowing much about the "creeper" I wonder why you would plant it so close to the beautiful hostas? Or on the other hand why would you plant anything so close to the beautiful hostas?

  • Bernice H
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Sherrie, I saw this beautiful colorful little plant, and thought...ooohhh so pretty! My heart jumped and said, oohhh, lets get this one! We can find a place for it! And then I thought , a little color next to the hosta! (This hosta was not so big last year, remember) aarrggh. tomorrow's to do list!

  • Sherrie S
    on Jun 20, 2012

    Awwww Bernice H, it will be OK.

  • Erica Glasener
    on Jun 21, 2012

    Bernice, I am an optimist but I would recommend getting rid of this plant asap. I don't like to use chemicals but roundup would be a good one for this invasive plant. Sorry, but if you start now, you have a chance. Best of luck.

  • Virginia H
    on Jun 23, 2012

    I posted about this plant also start weeding it is going to go everywhere be another weed...

  • Virginia H
    on Jun 23, 2012

    They are pretty but oh my they just grow and grow it is a root system plant and when it breaks it is just like a dandelion!

  • Bernice H
    on Jul 2, 2012

    Yep, we worked on it last week, haven't seen any sign of new growth ...yet..of broken roots coming up . But I am sure there will be because , we kept on finding and pulling...pulling ...digging..

  • Diane S
    on Apr 14, 2013

    I sat for weeks digging out 5 of these that had spread like crazy. You CANNOT pull these out-they need to be dug out carefully-follow the white roots, if it breaks keep tracking it-it will eventually end in a point. Awful experience-they also have an unusual odor.

  • Bernice H
    on Apr 14, 2013

    Thanks @Diane S for bringing this up again..we may have gotten rid of it, we dug + followed all the little white roots and sifted through the dirt. So we shall see if any come up this year. it was a very small plant to begin with so thankfully we didn't have too much trouble ..so far! I am keeping an eye out!

  • Bernice H
    on Apr 14, 2013

    Oh, and it did have a citrus strong smell, didn' t really like it.

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 15, 2013

    @Bernice H when will you post your Hostas?

  • Bernice H
    on Apr 15, 2013

    Hi @Sherrie S the most recent are on the plate flower post..in one you can see the april 4 pips, in the other dated the April 12th you can see the difference from april 4 ..(.liddle bitty things)..so in just 8 days they made super growth. Now they are several inches higher but haven't filled out yet. some grow faster than others. I have a couple in pots also, they are growing nicely too. Nothing to really show yet tho, unless you want to see sprouts sprouting! ha! But you can be sure when they fill in ..I will be posting. It is still cold tho it doesn't seem to bother them. isn't it nice how nature still does its thing ...right on time? and the Iris...green all year around !Love those girls!

  • Sherrie S
    on Apr 16, 2013

    @Bernice H From what I can see your Hostas are HUGE and beautiful. Since this is my first try with hostas I will be watching them closely. They are tiny right now but I'm expecting miracles.

  • Bernice H
    on Apr 16, 2013

    What variety are they? There are thousands....how big will they get ..when you know the variety you will know what to expect. the other thing @Sherrie S ...Cherrie it gets really hot here in Yakima..95, 100+ is not unusual, not much rain, some hostas are sun tolerant, most are not, depends on your variety! What's' their names/kind? ♥ If you don't know, you can go to the hosta site, and look at some and see what you have. Most of us have pretty common ones. where you got it is a clue too, a nursery?

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