heutonia

1 Jun

heutonia13 002Heutonia (or *#@+ heutonia, depending on whether it’s in someone else’s garden or your own) is an extremely aggressive ground cover that can quickly overtake other plants in a garden.   It is attractive, with its heart-shaped leaves and red stems and leaf edging.  In full sun, leaves will develop red and white markings as well.  Even the flowers are pretty, but once planted it’s nearly uncontrollable.  I spent several hours digging this out of the vegetable garden and hosta bed but I missed a few around the pond.  It’s almost a shame, but these too will have to go.

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4 Responses to “heutonia”

  1. Ed Glanville June 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I have a friend suffering from what you describe in your excellent blog as Heutonia. I have tried to find out more information about this fearsome pest but there seems to be strangely little about it on the internet. Are there other names for it? Please, please give us the proper generic (species) name.

    • Donna's Garden June 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Sorry, this is the only name I have, and it comes from other gardening friends so it could easily be a nickname and not the proper botanical reference. I can tell you that although I don’t generally like chemicals I have resorted to using Roundup to get rid of this plant (careful, Roundup will kill everything else the spray contacts). Even that hasn’t been 100% effective because Heutonia spreads through underground roots and it’s nearly impossible to get all the roots. It also must spread when birds or wind spread the seeds because I’ve known it to jump from one garden bed to another. A friend tells me her husband has an allergic reaction to touching the plant while trying to dig it out, although it’s never bothered me in that way. Just as a caution, though, wear gloves and long sleeves when working around heutonia. My only advice is to keep at it, digging out any new plants as they emerge and you’ll eventually get it under control. Good luck.

      • Tammy July 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

        Donna, any luck with your #@^%$#@! heutonia? We have it everywhere and it is dreadful. We’ve pulled it out, used roundup, and just about anything else we can think of. No luck, it just keeps getting worse. It can be considered pretty, I suppose, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT FROM GROWING EVERYWHERE!! This stuff is horrid, and it smells terrible — if you make the mistake of touching it without gloves, good luck getting the stink off your hands. Ed’s right, you can’t find info about this plant anywhere.

      • Donna's Garden July 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        Herbicides will slow it down but I haven’t found anything that gets rid of it for good. The only solution I’ve found that actually works is to dig up the entire bed and sift through the soil to make sure you’ve gotten every last bit of root — which is tough because the underground roots can go a long distance and as deep as 8″ or so.

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