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Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'
Chameleon plant is a perennial vine that provides instant garden color in the form of dark blue-green leaves splashed with cream, pink, and red. (Inconspicuous flower spikes appear in mid- to-late spring.) It’s primarily grown as a ground cover in areas that range from moist to wet. For the backyard gardener, this plant is best suited for container gardens because it spreads invasively if not kept in check.
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garden plans for Chameleon plant
Chameleon Plant Care Must-Knows
Chameleon plant grows best in moist, humusy soil and full sun or part shade. (But note the brightly variegated leaves develop better color when grown in full sun.) It readily tolerates 2 or more inches of standing water, which makes it a great plant for growing along a stream or pond, or in a water garden.
No matter where you site chameleon plant, it's essential to confine this rampant grower that spreads via rhizomes. For in-ground planting, site it where structures such as sidewalks or buildings can restrict growth. Or, put the plant in a soil-filled container without drainage holes. Sink the container into the ground, leaving the lip of the pot 2 inches above the soil line. You can also place the container in a pond or stream, situating it so the rim is just below the water surface. For ultimate peace of mind, restrict chameleon plant to a container garden.
Plant this vine with other moisture-loving perennials to get a colorful display that delights the eye from spring through fall. Canna, which produces large gladiolus-type flowers, thrives in full sun and moist (not wet) soil. Choose a dwarf variety of canna such as 'Tropical Breeze' or 'Tropical Rose (they grow just 18 to 30 inches tall) to use with chameleon plant in a container garden. Or choose elephant ear, a water-loving plant that grows well in part shade and moist soil. Pair pollinator-favorite bee balm with chameleon plant in the perennial garden.