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

Pronunciation of non-native mutabilis from Austin
April 11, 2010 - How do you pronounce the rose name, "mutabilis"? Some friends say "mu TAB ilis" and others say "muta BIL is". Which is it? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native peach tree in Willingboro NJ
September 02, 2009 - I have a peach tree in my back yard. The tree was in the yard when I bought the house. I have lived at my address almost six years. This year the peach tree is dripping a thick jelly-like sap from ...
view the full question and answer

Bulletproof plants from Burleson TX
April 18, 2013 - I recently wrote you a question concerning planting a privacy plant consisting of wax leaf ligustrum on my country property. Your answer was immediate (thank you-I am impressed). I like the wax leaf ...
view the full question and answer

Non-branching mimosa tree
June 26, 2008 - I have a Mimosa Tree, just about 2 years old, grown from seed. The problem with it is that it has not branched out, it looks like one long branch growing out of the ground, about 5 feet if stood strai...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center