getting rid of Houttuynia cordata

Asked May 19, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

seems to be the weed that is impossible to get rid of. it seems to be a new invasive plant also known as Camilian plant

St. Clair County Michigan weeds

1 Response

Although very attractive, Houttuynia cordata can be a real problem due to its aggressive nature. It is extremely difficult to eliminate.
If you have no other plants in the garden bed, you can try hitting it with glyphosate , a nonselective herbicide and then hand dig the plants that the chemical does not kill. Glyphosate is found in products such as Roundup and will kill all types of plant material, so you must be very careful to not apply it to the lawn or other desirable plants. It will probably take several applications to have any noticeable effect on the Houttuynia. When you have killed off some the plants then dig the remaining plants. This plant spreads by rhizomes. You must be sure to dig up all of these underground horizontal stems or they will sprout new growth. You will then need to monitor the area for new growth and spray or dig as it appears. It may take more than a year to rid the area of the Houttuynia . Do not replant the area until you are sure all of the Houttuynia is gone.
If the Houttuynia is mixed in a bed with other plants, it is very risky to use chemicals because you may kill the desirable plants. You have a few options. You can hand dig the Houttuynia. Again it will take some time to get all of the plants and their rhizomes. You could try painting the glyphosate on the Houttuynia with a small foam paint brush. By doing this you would be less likely to apply the chemical on the desired plants. Then hand dig any Houttuynia that is not killed by the chemical. A last option is to remove the desirable plants to another bed and use the chemical and mechanical method described in the above paragraph. If you decide to do the last option, be very careful not to take any of the Houttuynia rhizomes to the other bed. These rhizomes could very easily be mixed with the desirable plant roots.
Here are links to a couple of sites that discuss Houttuynia removal.
http://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=2011
http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=854&fr=1&sts
If you decide to use chemicals, be sure to read and follow all label directions.
I am sorry that I don’t have a more effective way to remove this aggressive plant. If you are persistent you will eventually be successful. If you have additional questions please reply back. Thank you for using our service.