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
1 rating

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


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


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.



More General Botany Questions

Herbarium locations for Bifora americana
May 12, 2007 - Dr Hampton: I am trying to find specific locations of populations of Bifora americana (prairie bishop). Apparently, many collections of this species have been made in the Dallas-Ft Worth area as we...
view the full question and answer

School project on acid rain effects on plants from Austin
October 18, 2013 - Hi I go to an Austin high school and I am doing a project on how acid rain affects plant growth. I am wondering if you know any plants that would be more or less susceptible to acid rain for this proj...
view the full question and answer

Are Prunus minutiflora male and female flowers on different plants?
March 12, 2014 - I have a Prunus minutiflora and have recently learned the male and female flowers are on separate plants. How can I determine if I have a male or female plant?
view the full question and answer

What is the difference between indigenous and native?
November 03, 2015 - What is the difference between indigenous and native?
view the full question and answer

Definition of a weed
April 22, 2003 - What is your definition of a weed?
view the full question and answer

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