This is a bog post on growing and harvesting Houttuynia cordata. It is also known as Vietnamese fish mint or Chameleon plant. It is winter hardy and it is edible although the taste may not be palatable to some. Some say it has a similar taste too of coriander except that it is a lot stronger. Personally, I didn’t use much of this herb as I am not much of a fan of this strong taste but it is used in a lot of southeast Asian cuisines. This herb is great to sprinkle in salads or added to curry dishes.
This plant originating from the Mekong, Vietnam is hardy to -15 Celcius. A piece of great news for growing in the UK. Once established it can be quite invasive and it prefers to bog or wet conditions.
Growing and harvesting Houttunynia cordata
To get growing with this herb is to buy cuttings online or in garden centers. It is an aquatic plant normally labeled as a chameleon plant. I have bought this on eBay Normally the sellers sell it in rooted cuttings and that’s it. It starts to grow easily if it gave the right conditions. The right conditions are in a muddy pond and some sun. It can grow in shade as well but vibrant colors of the plant are achieved if they are grown in the sun. I grew it in an old container filled with water and soil. Coe winter time it died back but come springtime the following year it comes back again.
If grown on the ground do be mindful that once it’s established it can take over the garden. So do cut it back once it has grown into the desired size. The leaves are ready to harvest when it matures.