En Español

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?

Share

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - January 11, 2009

From: Hamilton, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care for non-native red orchid
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

In a nutshell, I was away for about a week and before leaving I watered my red orchid (as instructions said you were only supposed to water it once a week and place in a spot with sunlight but not direct/extreme sunlight). I came back from vacation and my plant is wilting! I of course am very sad, as this is my favorite plant and a birthday gift. How can I recover this plant? I need help!

ANSWER:

While there are orchids native to North America, Phalaenopsis corningiana (red orchid) is not one of them. Rather, it is a native of Borneo, probably quite a different environment than your home. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native to North America, and recommend plants native to the area in which they are being grown. So, we have no knowledge of what might be wrong with your plant, nor information in our Native Plant Database. We did find information saying that this plant needs a strong humidity in the atmosphere, especially at night. In nature, night condensation covers the leaves abundantly. It is quite possible that the indoor environment, with a heating system, allowed your plant to dry out. About all we can suggest is lightly misting it in the evening, and see if it perks up. Here is an article about your plant, wildorchids.us Red orchid: A Rare and Extremely Exquisite Flower

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Difference in native and non-native cherry laurel
October 02, 2014 - I have a backyard volunteer that I have identified as a cherry laurel, but how do I tell the Carolina from the non-native? This is still young (2 years or so), and not flowering, at least not now.
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
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

Karoo rose
June 15, 2007 - Where would the Adenium obesum/desert rose/Karoo rose pictured in the Austin American-Statesman's Gardening section on 06/09/07 be available for purchase in or near the Taylor, Texas (76574) area?
view the full question and answer

Queen Palm Fertilization in Arizona
March 06, 2012 - I placed standard Miracle Grow in a root feeder device and inserted into the ground around all of my Queen Palms. Why have they taken a turn for the worse (furled tips on all new branches) Can you ov...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center