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

Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
August 10, 2011 - I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stu...
view the full question and answer

Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
November 16, 2010 - Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
view the full question and answer

Willow woes in Philadelphia, NY
August 22, 2010 - I have a 2 yr old willow; it is August and it looks like the tree has gone dormant, is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Possible disease on Eastern Redbud
October 06, 2007 - Our Eastern Redbud appears to be suffering from our recent drought. The leaves are turning brown in July/August on a few branches. A few black spots appear on the leaves before they turn brown. Ot...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

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