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?


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

Tuesday - June 22, 2010

From: Deltona, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on the leaf itself, which spreads to cover most of surface and then the leaf dies. Do they have a fungus problem and can they be saved?


From this Floridata site, Philodendron bipinnatifidum (selloeum) we learned that this plant is native to Paraguay and Brazil, and therefore out of our range of expertise, which is the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. From that site, we extracted this information about freeze damage for this plant:

"Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. This is one of the hardiest of all philodendrons. Frost may kill the leaves of tree philodendron or even kill the whole plant to the ground, but if the cold is not too severe and if the plant is well established, it will come back when warm weather returns. Indoors, keep temperatures above 55ºF (12.8 ºC) in winter and above 70ºF (21ºC) in summer."

Since this non-native does not appear in our Native Plant Database, we suggest you also go to this Plant-Care.com site Philodendrons in the Landscape.


More Non-Natives Questions

Removing Creeping Fig Suckers
October 17, 2012 - Help Mr Smarty Plants, I am helping a neighbor remove a creeping fig from her property and want to know if there is any product that will soften, emulsify or remove the remaining sucker roots on the ...
view the full question and answer

Should Mexican milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) not be used to attract Monarch butterflies?
November 20, 2015 - Should I remove Asclepias curassavica (Mexican milkweed) in my garden for threat of OE parasitic protozoan threat to Monarch butterflies? Is this threat as widespread as Chronicle implies? I had great...
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native, invasive Japanese Privet from Peoria AZ
July 31, 2013 - I have Japanese Privit bushes. one out of 6 has started to grow very small leaves and does not look healthy. Moon Valley told me shortage of zinc, but that has not helped in 3 months. What can I ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Pink Jasmine from Austin
March 23, 2011 - A week or so ago, I purchased two beautiful pink jasmine vines. The first few days after planting, they did wonderful. Now, some leaves and stems are turning brown and some flowers have fallen off. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center