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Beginner Gardening Questions: Houttuynia Cordata or CHAMELION PLANT need to kill

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 15, Views: 120
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joelcoqui
Roslyn
United States

August 17, 2011
6:59 AM

Post #8761105

How do I get rid of the perennial ground cover Chamelion plant. Its going ramped in my garden. There are desireables in the area like trees and hydrangeas I dont want to kill. I tried gently pulling up all the weeds but if you leave 1/4 in. of root, the plant grows back. HELP!
joelcoqui
Roslyn
United States

October 17, 2011
6:34 AM

Post #8852247

Anyone? Its all over the place and even growing in between my brick pavers.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 17, 2011
11:34 AM

Post #8852676

These are not deep rooted plants so you can use a hand fork to lift out, if thats too much work then use weed killer BUT, don't use this on a windy day or it will be blown / drift onto other plants, if it's possible to use weedkiller, paint it into the plant using an old make-up brush or dab with cotton wool balls, make sure you use gloves when handling weed-killers.
Good luck, WeeNel.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 25, 2011
7:28 AM

Post #8862906

You have got to be kidding, WeeNel. I've dug up 513 square feet of it and have gone down past a foot and there are still roots down farther. Round Up gives the look of having killed it but after many applications the very sad truth is that it returns. In warm weather it returns in 35 days and if killed in December it will return here in April. I have spent the last three months working at it all summer, 8 to 11 hours DAILY, and it's still there underground just waiting to erupt. I remove each piece and scour the surrounding soil (sifting it) to remove every last piece of it.

When I finish with what I can reach, without digging up the 50 year old pines and hiring a company to rip out these roots, I will put down heavy duty black plastic for a year, maybe two and maybe more than two years, to be sure it's gone forever.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 25, 2011
7:30 AM

Post #8862909

This pail of Houttuynia roots is just from the above area. So far we've taken 60 big bags of roots to the dump.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 25, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8862911

The tiniest of pieces broken off or left behind will grow. You can see the old section of root, the new growth and the leafing out in this photo.

I had no choice but to cut many minor pine roots since the Houttuynia clings to the roots.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 25, 2011
7:38 AM

Post #8862925

It invaded the lawn and all bare ground you see here is due to the removal of it. I watch like a hawk to catch any returning pieces of it.

Those timbers were heavy and awkward to move but the Houttuynia roots also cling to the bottom of the timbers where it's damp so I had to move them to scrape off roots.

What was once a lush daylily garden with many of our own hybridized daylilies is now vacant due to that horribly invasive Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'.

Joel - as soon as you originally posted I sent you a Dmail telling you of my own problems with it. Good luck removing it.

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 25, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8862927

It didn't end with that garden but went under the timbers and the slate to invade the next garden and this is what that "garden" looks like now:

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joelcoqui
Roslyn
United States

May 10, 2013
6:29 AM

Post #9515523

OMG. I am still trying. I WANT A CHEMICAL!! ANYONE.??
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2013
6:38 AM

Post #9515535

Yes! I just sent you a Dmail.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

May 10, 2013
2:13 PM

Post #9515964

These are not the same plant we call Chamelion plants believe me, My plant is grown as an indoor plant.
I am so sorry that my answers sounded so silly now that I've picked up the thread again, you poor thing, what about trying a brush poison type chemical as I think these go right down to the roots but they don't work over night OR, would your county office be able to give the right advice as I'm sure others MUST have had the same dreadful problem as your having, I do know what it's like to have a nice plant given with good grace and only to find it's the bane of your life till it's dead or burned. Hope you get proper help soon Joelcoqui.
Best regards and good luck, WeeNel.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2013
8:25 PM

Post #9519654

Round up, even the commercially available product combined with some other weed killer will not do the job. (Been there, done that. It came back.)

Hand removal is a very good way to greatly reduce it, but I am not sure what the 'knock out punch' is going to be. Anything that I could think of would poison the area for future plants.

A couple of concepts:
A plant that is deprived of light long enough will die. Unfortunately this means staying constantly vigilant, and instantly removing any tiny bit that surfaces.
If you keep spraying with weed killer, sometimes the second or third treatment will do the trick,. when just one spray was not enough.

Last resort:
Move. That is how my Mother fought Bermuda Grass. Combining Round up and hand removal fought it to a standstill, then (when the property was looking pretty nice) SELL.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2013
7:11 AM

Post #9520027

Diana - it's nice to meet another victim of this scourge.

I did write to joelcoqui and gave my advice. I do use Poison Ivy and Tough Brush Killer but not according to instructions so I felt it wise to do so privately.

My California friend advised me to cover both areas with black plastic (as the highway system does there) and that's what we did but only after digging deeply the entire 513 sq. ft. (under very old pines with huge roots) to remove every sprig I could find. I'm still diligent about searching for an escaped pieces.

Photo #1 before I started (again) removing the evil weed. This is just a small part of the area.
Photo #2 all ripped out but it was working more than 8 hours every day to dig it out.
Photo #3 "It's back". I continued digging.
Photo #4 Can you spot the thick white roots? I had to dig up and pot up every daylily - a few hundred of them.
Photo #5 Just removing roots from this spot took many hours

Next I'll show the black plastic episode.

Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2013
7:31 AM

Post #9520044

#1 - covered in plastic, heavy duty, daylilies in pots. Notice that I did extend the plastic into the lawn.
#2 - now it was November and after clearing out roots again we put down black plastic in the second area.
#3 - I was shocked to see roots when I peeled back the plastic to check the progress.
#4 - Septemer, 2012 - looking good!
#5 - Also looking good on the right!

There is a limit to patience so every new piece I find gets the poison immediately. I'm almost 72 and not about to continue this madness of trying to avoid the only answer I could find to the Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' problem for the rest of my gardening life. I'd prefer anything organic over poison but it ended up being the only sane answer.

Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl   Thumbnail by pirl
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joelcoqui
Roslyn
United States

May 25, 2013
10:12 AM

Post #9533512

I did straight chemical and it just wilted it. Looks like I have to do it again. Two years ago, I packed on 4 inches of wood chips...it still came through to the top. I understand, if its contained, its very nice. BS!!! I just cant take it anymore.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2013
10:31 AM

Post #9533534

Apply it every other day - total of 3 to 4 applications. Just once kills it for me but I always do it again just to be sure. It will look wilted and then dries up and goes brown. With the wet weather we've had it may not go brown as fast as it normally would.

The chips would just keep the soil damp and the Houttuynia would thrive there.

Please report in when the leaves go brown and crispy if this rain ever ends.

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