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Plants: Conservation Discuss invasive plants, habitat loss, climate change, and other topics related to plant conservation.

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  #1  
Old July 8th, 2007, 02:08 PM
janepots janepots is offline
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Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Help!
I planted this pretty, but, invasive perennial beside a pond at the bottom of a rock garden.

When I realized that it would stop at nothing to take over the entire garden, growing between tiny spaces in the rocks, and maybe even diving under a few, I started pulling it up, but it contunues its' march for garden domination.
Is manually pulling it my only option...I really don't want to have to resort to round-up.
Some of these things really need to come with serious warnings regading invasiveness.
Thanks, Jane
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  #2  
Old July 9th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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dawnh dawnh is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Hi Jane,

I hadn't even heard of this plant yet, hopefully that means it hasn't yet escaped into our natural areas (fingers crossed). I was able to find a reference on the web to controlling H. cordata. Not tonnes of information, but it may be a good starting point for more (there are other links). To find it, go to http://www.issg.org/database/species...=854&fr=1&sts=

Thanks for the heads up on this.

Dawn
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  #3  
Old July 9th, 2007, 10:56 AM
KarinL KarinL is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

I don't have experience with this as an invasive but know the plant. My guess is that manual removal will eventually be successful, as I think it spreads only by root and not, or barely, by seed. I could be wrong as it sounds like you've got it in a really great spot, bottom of a slope and all, where it may bloom and thus seed more. I'm guessing you just need to be vigilant in season for a couple of years. My aunt has it growing in her garden where it spreads, but manageably, as she has shade from large trees that also keep the growing conditions below them in check. My joke is that I have tried to grow it in a pot with limited success.

But it is not the only commonly sold plant that should carry a warning. One learns to look at plants in pots - if they grow all around the edges of the pot, chances are they are trying to escape!
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:40 AM
levilyla levilyla is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

I can only say I sympathize with you. I got this at a garden club swap thing years ago and had no idea what is was.......well many years later I have tried the pulling and have also tried the roundup. It just laughs at the roundup. It may turn brown and wilt away but then something else comes up just beside it. I hate it and simply cannot get rid of it....it is worse than gooseneck loosstrife. Another problem is that it is in and around so many other things that it is hard to use the roundup unless it is all by itself (which it is not). :~(
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:47 AM
janepots janepots is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Oh Whaaaaa!
Did you catch the 1st response to my question..it is classified as a noxious pest in Australia, New Zealand etc. and can't be sold!!
The other beautiful plant I had to move.....(and is still there..every microscopic root hair is viable, I'm sure ) because it was providing year round foliage, cover and moisture for carpenter ants next to our house is japanese anenome.
But then, I'm the one who also planted not one but 2 sumacs in our yard...sigh
Thanks..back to "exhausting the root"..ha ha
Cheers, Jane
I do have gooseneck, and you know, I did move it and didn't have a problem in the 1st spot..
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  #6  
Old July 19th, 2007, 08:59 AM
levilyla levilyla is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

You probalby have Robustissima. which is a real thug...acutally not a true Japanese anemone....It is grapeleaf Anemone (tomentosa)
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  #7  
Old July 19th, 2007, 10:28 AM
KarinL KarinL is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

I have had the same problem with Acanthus mollis, which is still trying to grow in a spot from which I moved it ten years ago. Oriental poppies are another plant, daylilies another, which simply will not vacate a spot, even if they do not spread much from it. If you get into shrubs, just try persuading a flowering quince that it would be happier elsewhere.

On issues such as invasiveness and toxicity, the horticultural industry is really awfully irresponsible. But even if the industry were more responsible, as Levilyla's experience shows, plant swappers may not be. Human nature meets nature always seems to equal disaster!
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  #8  
Old July 19th, 2007, 02:01 PM
levilyla levilyla is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

You are so right....I can't tell you how any things are in my garden by way of "generous friends". And I hate to say this but I am sure there are many things in others gardens from mine that they curse me for. Usually the catalogues say something like "this plant spreads nicely"...you never hear them say "this plant is a horrible invasive thug".
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  #9  
Old August 8th, 2007, 06:07 AM
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LariAnn LariAnn is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Hi everyone,

One thing to keep in mind about "invasiveness" is that plants labeled this way have been removed from their natural habitat, where they are kept in check by neighbors, pests, and other natural conditions, and placed in a disturbed (to them) environment where their normal restraining limitations are absent. Under such conditions, life does what it does, and that is to expand to fill the available space.

Remember that roadsides, garden areas, surburban landscapes and other human-constructed environments are not natural habitats and plants will behave differently in those environments than they will in their natural habitats. Don't fault the plants and seek to destroy them; fault the people who destroy natural habitats and then expect nature to bend to their whim without resistance.

If you can find a truly natural habitat (never been farmed, bulldozed, or otherwise disturbed by humans), see how many "invasive" plants are there.

For more info on this, I suggest the excellent book, "Invasion Biology - Critique of a Pseudoscience" by David Theodoropoulos.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research
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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2007, 06:24 AM
levilyla levilyla is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

This is true...but then you would living in a natural habitat and not a garden. Most gardeners want to create (even if they go with all natives), a garden that is pleasing and most times a place that has never been disturbed has alot of what I would certainly call weeds.
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  #11  
Old August 8th, 2007, 10:27 AM
KarinL KarinL is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

What you see in the original post is that Janepots has this plant in a pretty close approximation of its natural environment. As an aquatic, or maybe semi-aquatic, it wouldn't spread much away from the pond, but will certainly settle in there happily to the extent it is allowed to. In a natural environment you are right that there would be competitors and predators. A natural environment does consist of plants competing with each other, and they are all thugs by nature. Usually over a cycle of a season or a couple of centuries (when trees, which win over everything in the end, fall or burn), lots of different ones get a chance.

I'm not sure why you would have us fault people who disturb natural environments, Lariann. No one is "faulting" the plant as such; rather an understanding of its nature is being gained. Similarly, it is the nature of humans to disturb natural environments - opposable thumbs will do that to a species, and we have always done it - certainly the pace and degree are out of hand, but humans meddle just as certainly as trees grow. Why fault people for their nature yet defend plants for theirs? Vilifying people accomplishes nothing, and creating reverence for nature rather than an understanding of it only displaces empathy and creates excuses for some people to control others. Would you have Jane forced to cede her garden to this plant?
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  #12  
Old August 8th, 2007, 10:29 AM
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LariAnn LariAnn is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Of course you are correct, and I too have gardens, not natural habitats. However, I recognize that by growing my selected plants in a human-constructed environment, I need to accept that nature will try to restore some kind of natural balance, meaning I either have to control my plants, weed, or otherwise work to maintain my pleasing garden. That is my responsibility, not the plant's fault! My point is simply to avoid the thinking that plants or other native-to Earth creatures can be "invasive" (as though they are thinking, hey, let's invade this garden!); they are just genetically driven by nature to fill vacant niches that we have made vacant by our activity.

Real invasion can take place only when extraterrestrial lifeforms arrive on Earth.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research
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  #13  
Old August 8th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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LariAnn LariAnn is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

KarinL,

IMHO, Fault only applies if a person disturbs the natural environment, then faults nature for trying to restore itself. The facts are that most of us are growing our plants in environments that were disturbed long before we came along, so my comments about fault would not apply in the manner in which you took them. My post was not directed at Janepots specifically, but at the IDEA that some plants have volition to invade and, thus, must be fought.

To see this, look at some of the terminology used in the original post:

"..it would stop at nothing to take over"
"..continues its march for garden domination"

Sounds like an idea that the plant has a conscious, self-directed volition to take over and force all other plants out! Let me get my gun; we're in trouble!! (That is a joke, of course.)

To be sure, some plants are vigorous colonizers, but that must be so because without such plants, barren areas would remain barren.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research

Last edited by LariAnn; August 8th, 2007 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Additional information
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  #14  
Old August 8th, 2007, 10:49 AM
KarinL KarinL is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Appreciate your clarification, especially the first. I didn't feel anyone was humanizing the plants with a will, but the perspective is interesting.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 08:19 AM
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Kale Kale is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

Very interesting!
I have had Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia ) since spring of 2005; I planted it in sun from about 12-3pm then again after 5pm to sundown.I was warned this year that it will take over! I have not seen that at all! I did take head and now have most of it in pebbles in my pond in small containers. Now if it doesn't flower how will it take over!!??

I had been given japanese anenome as a kind jesture, I then heard it is a thug *LOL well I don't know exactly what I will do with it but it sure isn't going in my soil!
I was also given Artichoke Sunflower I had 3 little shoots,the next year about 8 the next year about 500+! I have pulled them out dug them out and I'm still waiting for them to give up they even grew under large rocks! Id say everyday from March till late July I pulled tub loads full removed lots of soil and had sweat dripping off me for hours on end. Then after all this I told a hum hum ....friend, and he tried to give that very plant to a new gardener! I was rather bothered and told him to keep it and how dare he! He has them and could get rid of them has tons of them!!!

I do have to admit they were a stunningly beautiful tall (about 10ft ) Yellow blooms all the way till late November! Looks like a mini sunflower Hubby wanted to eat the tubers then changed his mind..*lol real funny ...That is why I let them grow the second year...

I just saw a few this morning which I will gladly pull and discard.Wish I had a place to plant them they are beautiful just beastly in take over.


Kale:)
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  #16  
Old August 22nd, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Daniel Mosquin Daniel Mosquin is offline
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Re: Getting rid of Houttuynia cordata ( Chameleon Houttuynia )

I'd be interested to continue the discussion on the broader topic of invasive species (and Theodropoulos' work) in this thread.
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Old August 19th, 2012, 09:10 AM
JanetEG
This message has been deleted by Daniel Mosquin. Reason: Duplicate post, a new thread has been started with other post.
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