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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.

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

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - October 06, 2008

From: Digby, NS
Region: Canada
Topic: General Botany
Title: North American plant that inhibits mold and mildew growth
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi! There, I just wanted to know is there a north American plant that inhibits or eradicates mold and mildew growth, in the home. Also do they make a CFL (the new energy efficient spiral) type light bulbs for plant growth that really work. Thank you

ANSWER:

Sorry, but Mr. Smarty Plants hasn't been able to find any plant in North America (or elsewhere, for that matter) that inhibits or eradicates the growth of mold/mildew.  We did learn that there is a leachate from compost of alfalfa and sunflower stalks that controls black mold (Aspergillus niger) in onion sets, but I think what you are looking for is a plant that has some airborne component that inhibits or eradicates the growth of mold and mildew on surfaces (such as walls) in the home.  So far as I know, it doesn't exist.  Your best bet is to reduce the moisture in your home and provide more air circulation.  Here is some advice from the University of Florida Extension Service about preventing and removing mildew.

We don't have any firsthand knowledge about the effectiveness of the new CFL grow lights but they are touted as being efficient.  The 2700K bulb from Green Thumb supposedly provides more red spectrum light for flowering in plants and their 5000K bulb is full spectrum to promote overall plant growth; but, as I said, we don't have any firsthand knowledge of their effectiveness.  You can find many more articles about "CFL grow lights" by Googling the terms.

 

 

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