Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - January 30, 2012

From: Bradenton, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problem with non-native Houttuynia cordata (chameleon)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a Houttuynia cordata chameleon plant in a clay pot. My zone is 9b and my yard is partial sun. Up until January, it was thriving. Now, it is dead. I think the cold killed it. I kept it moist at all times due to it usually thriving in boggy places. I don't understand what happened? One site listed the zone for this plant as only up to 8 but most sites list it as up to 9. Even if it's zone 8, zone 8 gets colder than zone 9, so I am at a loss as to what happened.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America.  Houttuynia cordata (chameleon plant) is a cultivated Asian species and, thus, not really in our purview.  You would have much better luck posing your question to one of the gardening forums (such as GardenWeb  or Dave's Garden) that deal mostly with cultivated plants.  GardenWeb has a Gardening in Florida forum and Dave's Garden has a Florida Gardening Forum.  There is also another forum called Florida Gardeners' Forum.

We hope you will contact us again with any native plant questions.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011 - We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

White fuzz on Christmas tree from Lewisburg PA
January 04, 2011 - Our Canaan fir Christmas tree is now coated with white fuzz after being up for 4 weeks. The fuzz looks like spider webs, but it is also in clumps around the needles. When you rub your finger on it, ...
view the full question and answer

Knots on redbuds in Stillwell, OK
April 07, 2011 - My redbud has knots all over the limbs. Its been this way for a few years now. I can not find a way to take care of this problem. I don't even know what is causing this. Can you help me?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.