Thursday, July 12, 2007


Colleen, over at In The Garden Online has challenged us all to post our garden problems, failures, and difficult areas, or as she puts it, 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly'.
I have lived on this property for 17 years, and have pretty much worked out or eliminated all of the problem areas, except one.
This area is in the back of my house, receives morning sun, and is under a large overhang. There is a door that I hope someday to exit onto a porch, so I don't want to plant any shrubbery. I have tried hosta, and other perennials in this area, but nothing survives because it is so dry.
So, I got the bright idea to plant Houttuynia, (Chameleon Plant), in this space a few years ago. BIG MISTAKE!!!! Never, ever plant this groundcover anyplace that is not surrounded by acres of concrete. It travels by underground runners, and comes up anywhere and everywhere. Nothing phases it, even Roundup. Any piece of root left after digging it out, will sprout, and take over. The roots also smell awful, and have been known to leave a rash on your skin. The plant itself is multi-colored, and very attractive, but don't let it fool you. It is a nightmare!
This Spring it looked really bad, and I thought that it would be a perfect time to get rid of it. So, I sprayed what was left of it with Roundup. If you didn't know better, you would think that I had fertilized it! It is now heading around the air conditioner to a hosta bed. I am afraid that I am going to have to tackle this problem soon, or it will take over my whole property.
If anyone out there has every come up against this plant and has a solution, please share it with me.


Colleen said...

Thanks for doing a post for "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Wow..I wasn't familiar with this plant, but you can bet after reading this that it will never find a place in my garden! I hope someone has some solutions for you.

Thanks again!

Kylee said...

This is just too funny. In my Bad and Ugly post, I too have Chameleon Plant and I'm whining that it DIDN'T come back very well over from winter!

Carol said...

My neighbor has the chameleon plant and she's trying to get rid of it, too.

Like ivy, it seems to have a waxy coating on the leaves, so Round Up doesn't really work. I wonder if concentrated vinegar would work? Or maybe you could get some black plastic and cover the whole mess of them until they are all dead?

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Somebody gave me a little bit of this plant as a 'favor'. Needless to say it has been a nightmare ever since. I have given up trying to get rid of it and work on controlling by digging it several times a year.