Groundcover plants are a great way to fill in bare spots in the garden, keep weeds at bay, and add some color and vitality. However, you should avoid Houttuynia Cordata, often known as the chameleon plant.
It’s a tenacious and quick-spreading virus that frequently gets out of hand. Furthermore, killing chameleon plants will prove to be quite impossible if you change your mind after you planted them. It will demand a steely spine and unwavering drive, at the very least.
About The Chameleon Plant
Chameleon plants are excellent groundcovers and trailing plants. It is an ideal plant for those conditions because it tolerates harsh environments and requires little care. However, the full nature of the plant emerges only when you seek to remove or control it.
Houttuynia spreads via delicate rhizomes that readily break away. Any rhizome or stem fragments that are left in the soil will undoubtedly regrow, making eradication of the chameleon plant particularly difficult.
The fleshy rhizomes are also fairly deep and wide, making digging out each part much more difficult. And because foliar sprays kill leaves and stems but not roots, this scrappy plant will simply come back season after season.
Ways Of Controlling Chameleon Plants Naturally
You can do this the hard way by pulling them out by hand. The procedure will take several seasons to complete, but it will not necessitate the use of chemicals.
How To Dig Them Out
Begin digging at the patch’s outside margins, about 2 feet (0.5 m) away from the visible leaves and stems. Remove rhizomes as you come across them and place them in a bag.
At least 12 inches should be dug down (30.5 cm.). It’s helpful to have a large tarp at hand to sift through shovels full of soil for fragments of rhizome, leaves, or stems.
Place the sifted soil in a different region of the garden. You can return the “cleaned” soil once you’ve gone through the entire bed. Keep an eye on the area and pull off any sprouting plants. For the next season or two, you might have to repeat the entire process.
The Chemical Way
It is feasible to eradicate the chameleon plant completely, but it will take several years. Unfortunately, the components required to kill chameleon plants are back-breaking labor and chemicals.
Despite the plants’ resistance to chemical pesticides, glyphosate appears to be a viable option. Use with caution and search for a formula that says brush or stumps on the label.
Cut back the plants and paint or drip a small amount of the chemical on the open stem to reduce the amount utilized and prevent drift. This cuts down on the amount of product you need and ensures that the formula is applied correctly to the plant.
You may need to reapply the following season, but this method has a good probability of killing the plant in a reasonable amount of time.
Keep in mind that chemical management should only be used as a last resort, as organic methods are far safer and environmentally beneficial, even though they may not be great for your back.
It won’t be easy, and it will take some time but you can get rid of Chameleon plants with a lot of determination, the help of some useful chemicals, and a lot of manual labor.