En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - October 20, 2007

From: Thousand Oaks, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native house plant
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have bought a 7 foot bird of paradise indoor plant, and have a decorative pot to place it into. The plant will remain in its plastic pot, will have a liner inside decorative pot, and decorative moss on surface. I have bought a meter to help determine when to water.What else can I do to keep this plant looking beautiful and healthy? Special fertilizer? Cleaner for the leaves? I have positioned the plant next to the French doors, and it will never receive direct sunlight, but gets plenty of indirect for 1/2 of the day.


Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise) is a native of South Africa. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is centered on the care and protection of plants native to North America. However, we realize that most indoor and potted plants are non-natives, and think you will find the above link helpful in answering your questions.

More Non-Natives Questions

Insects on non-native euonymus in Lake Orion MI
June 23, 2010 - I had a greenlane euonymus that had a few flies last year but was infested with thousands this year. We ripped it out, it was an 8 year old plant. Do you know why they are attracted to it now?
view the full question and answer

Looking for the tallest okra stalk in Waco, TX.
July 22, 2011 - I am looking for the tallest okra stalk in Waco,Texas. Back in the 1950s, it was in the Waco paper but I can't find it. My Grandfather's name was Robert W. Goss of Waco, and he had his picture take...
view the full question and answer

Promote blooms on non-native plants
June 11, 2008 - I am trying to promote blooms on my several types of flowering scrubs and ornamentals, but not having much luck. I have used Miracid SuperBloom occasionally but not sure I am using enough, yet I may ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

Obtaining information about non-native Maurandella antiffhiniflora seeds
February 26, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants: My Mother and I love to see all the beautiful Snapdragons blooming each year. We never know when to actually plant the seeds in order to have the Snapdragons come up and bloom by th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center