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

Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Grand River, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Plants for planting in gourds
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the sides of pots, I am wanting something small like that but something with blooms on them. Is there a flower like that? I would prefer a perennial and an indoor/outdoor would be nice. Is there anything out there like that? I live in Western Ky. I'm not sure what zone that is?


Much as we hate to admit it, it looks like this is something we can't help you with. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but the area in which they are being grown. Very probably, the gourds you are thinking of are members of the Lageneria genus, perhaps Lageneria siceraria, native to Zimbabwe. We agree with you that some kind of succulent is likely the best choice for growing as you describe. We went to our Native Plant Database and found no succulents native to Kentucky. You can very easily go to a large nursery, and they usually have a wide selection of succulents, probably all non-native to Kentucky or North Amerca. Since we can't help you from our database, we found several websites that might give you some information: The Succulent Page, an Associated Content site on Decorating Gourds which includes information on making planters, and a plantzafrica site Lageneria siceraria. If, when you are shopping for succulents, you find one with a common or Latin name on the label, you might check that out by Googling either or both, which will help you with information on the care and culture of that plant.


More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Need help with yucca palm in New York City, NY.
November 10, 2011 - I have had my yucca palm plant for almost 10 years. The bark has started to peel off although leaves seem fine. The second smaller separate yucca plant has half its bark and trunk gone. I can't see a...
view the full question and answer

Information about ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis)
May 06, 2008 - I recently planted some Carpobrotus edulis, Ice plant, and wanted to know if I can mulch or put stones around the entire garden and plants. They are a ground cover plant.
view the full question and answer

Survival of yucca plant mowed down in Oklahoma
April 15, 2009 - I have a yucca plant that came from a very old plant of my late father, and had transplanted it 6 years ago and it came back every year and bloomed. This morning I went outside and noticed my husband...
view the full question and answer

Bloom on non-native Agave attenuata
May 13, 2008 - I have an Agave Attenuata that has grown a long and unsightly stem.Is there a way to cut the plant portion off and re-root the plant without killing the petal portion?
view the full question and answer

Problems with claret cup cactus in Austin
April 07, 2012 - I have a claret cup cactus in a terra-cotta pot that bloomed beautifully a few years ago but hasn't since. This year, it set about a dozen buds and looked poised to bloom like crazy, but two weeks la...
view the full question and answer

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