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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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Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Container Gardens, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Native plants for a New York, NY apartment?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What are some native Mid-Atlantic/New England plants that can be grown well indoors? I live in an apartment in New York City and have recently realised that the plants I've been growing are all foreign (and in one case, potentially invasive) species. I'd like to change that, but I can't find any information on native houseplants anywhere.

ANSWER:

We love your train of thought!  Unfortunately, with the exception of cacti and succulents, very few North American native plants are well-suited for indoor gardening.  Some people have success growing some woodland plants in terrariums, but even those are rarely long-lived.  About eleven species of Sedum are native to New York and the surrounding states.  You might have some success culturing a kind of rock garden in your apartment window using some of those lovely and interesting groundcovers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woodland stonecrop
Sedum ternatum

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