Plants for Ponds & Water Gardens: Chameleon Plant
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Chameleon Plant
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Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata variegata)
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Quick Stats

Care Level Easy
Color Form Green, Red, Yellow
Water Conditions 60-80° F, pH 6.5-7.5
Max. Size 3"
Origin Farm Raised
Family Saururaceae
Lighting Direct Sun to Medium Shade
Placement Edge
Propagation Rhizome Division
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Overview

The Chameleon Plant is a very attractive, low-growing plant with striking, tri-color foliage. Heart-shaped leaves reminiscent of ivy leaves boast varying shades of green, yellow, and red coloration for a festive visual display. The coloration of this hardy perennial “changes” like the namesake reptile depending on lighting conditions, developing richer coloration in full sun showcasing deep greens, sunset yellows, and fiery reds. In shadier locations, the Chameleon Plant dons a subtle palette of grass green, creamy yellow, and pink.

Because of its low-growing habit, the Chameleon Plant is a fantastic choice for softening pond edges, borders, rockwork, and other horizontal design elements. The Chameleon Plant can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions and can be grown in your pond and water garden with “wet feet” as a marginal bog plant or as a fully terrestrial plant in your landscape. Under ideal conditions, the Chameleon Plant is fast growing so it is very important to plan ahead and locate the plant in a contained or fixed area where unwanted spread can be restricted.

For best growth, locate the Chameleon Plant in full sun to partial shade. For use in your water garden, plant in a one-gallon container and submerge the pot 2" below the pond water surface. Though overshadowed by its showy foliage, the Chameleon Plant produces charming white flowers in late spring. When bruised, the foliage emits a citrusy orange-like scent that gives its other common name, the Orange Peel Plant. Zones 5-11.

Approximate Purchase Size: 6" to 8"

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