Houttunia - colorful guest in the garden

The modern art of landscape design does not stand still. So, relatively recently, gardeners began to use the hauttunia plant, perhaps many have already met it in the house or summer cottages, but have not heard its name. We will try to find out more about this plant.


  • Houttunia aka Hauyttunia, general information
  • Houttunias in garden design
  • How to grow hauttunia in the garden

Houttunia aka Hauytunia, general information

Houttunia is a plant from the Savrura family, its homeland is the countries of Asia and the Atlantic coast of Mexico and the United States. K. Linnaeus himself called the lizard-tailed plant, because of the similarity of the inflorescence with the tail of a lizard. The life form of hauttunia is a perennial herb. It has long white roots that look like laces that stretch horizontally in the topsoil. The ground part is represented by low, from 30 to 60 cm, reddish stems. Houttunia leaves are similar in shape to linden leaves. The leaf blade in wild species is green with a transition to the center of the leaf in dark green streaks.

The inflorescence of the plant is modest, similar to a miniature ear of corn, sometimes decorated with several stipules. In the wild, it prefers to grow near water bodies and in highly humid places. In China, it grows on paddy fields, like a hard-to-remove weed. In the medicine of Japan, China, Vietnam, it is considered one of the universal medicinal herbs. It is used in the treatment of:

  • hemorrhoids
  • edema
  • skin tumors
  • abscesses
  • edema
  • snake bites

Also in these countries, salads and other dishes are prepared from hauttunia. A characteristic feature of the plant is a strong fishy smell. It appears when any part of the plant is broken. The smell is compared to the smell of an unwashed dog (dog), and Vietnamese people call the plant fishmint. However, such a spicy feature was not an obstacle to growing hauttuni in gardens as an ornamental plant.

Houttunias in garden design

Wild hauttunias look quite modest compared to cultivated varieties. The main charm of which is, first of all, colored and variegated foliage. Most varieties are derived from heart-shaped hauttunia and the most common of them are:

  1. Chameleon - up to 20 cm high, on the leaves green, pink and yellow are distributed in uneven fragments.
  2. Tricolor - 45 - 60 cm high, variegated leaves, heart-shaped, petiolate, inflorescence with four white bracts.
  3. Variegata - differs in the most elegant leaves with red, green, cream and yellow stains.
  4. Captivity - has numerous flowers with white double bracts.

The first and unconditional purpose of all varieties of hauttunia is the design of garden ponds. Moreover, at the edges of large reservoirs, you can plant it directly into the ground. It is important to limit its spread in the garden, in the reservoir itself, it will grow only in shallow water. Houttunias can be grown in containers along the edges of small ponds created using plastic factory molds, this will also limit its spread throughout the site.

Video with garden design options:

In appearance and growth pattern, hauttunia is a typical ground cover plant. She quickly masters the proposed territory. In addition, bright leaves look great in the near-stem circles of standard plants and medium-sized conifers with a pyramidal crown. The windows decorated with this flower look original in the paving of paths. By planting it in a specially left window in the middle of a solid stone or concrete one, you can get a bright decorative spot. In addition, its space will be limited by a hard surface.

With the right soil, hauttunia is an excellent plant for garden compositions such as rock gardens and alpine slides. For novice gardeners, it is more convenient to grow such an aggressive plant in a container, flowerpot or limited flower beds. Boxwoods, irises, and various decorative trimmed plants can be planted nearby. Despite the sufficient vitality of this representative of the flora, it still needs to create certain conditions for growth.

How to grow hauttunia in the garden

When growing any plant in the garden, it is important to observe several conditions and all varieties of garden hauttunia are no exception. Pay attention to:

  • lighting
  • soil composition
  • watering
  • feeding

Lighting and soil

The main advantage of this plant is the beautiful color of the leaves. With a lack of lighting, the leaves lose their variegation and variety of shades. The main color of the leaves becomes green. The best lighting for her will be not only direct light for 5-6 hours, but also a slightly diffused sun and a small shadow. The plant is not demanding to the composition of the soil, it feels good on loam, mixed with peat in equal quantities. Does not tolerate excess nitrogen.

Watering and fertilizing

Considering that the plant needs to maintain a sufficiently high soil moisture, the flower needs regular watering. This applies to those flowers that are far from the reservoir and / or grow in containers. Depending on the weather, you need to water in the summer once every two to three days, preventing the land from drying out.

At the beginning of the growing season, the plants are fed with a long-lasting fertilizer. For planting in the garden, either cuttings are taken or the rhizome is divided into fragments.

It is better to do this at the beginning of summer, they are planted in the ground to a depth of 7-8 cm. It is important to limit the space for this plant and bury an obstacle made of material, plastic or iron, resistant to rot, into the ground. In winter, frost is a danger only for hauttunia planted in shallow water. In all other cases, the plant perfectly withstands winter frosts. The disadvantages include late germination after severe winters. In all other respects, growing hauttunia will not cause much difficulty.

Watch the video: Herb That Smells Like Fish (January 2022).