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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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Tuesday - May 03, 2011

From: Enning, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Recommendations for house plants for South Dakota
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Thank you for your web site! I live in Enning South Dakota, and I am new to this beautiful part of the United States. I would love to grow house plants but don't know where to start looking or what kind to buy! I have always enjoyed vine plants and spider plants but have no clue on what plants I can grow here. Thank you and have a Blessed day!

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's mission is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  'Native' means native to North America.  Many houseplants, such as spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), are NOT native to North America and our expertise doesn't extend to those plants.  However, it is possible to use native plants as houseplants.  Please read our "How to Article", Container Gardening with Native Plants.  You can check the South Dakota Recommended list for native plants that might be suitable for container plants.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the list to 'Herb' (under GENERAL APPEARANCE) and 'Perennial' (under LIFESPAN).  You should look for plants with interesting foliage since the flowering plants will have a limited season for blooming.   Here are a few possibilities from that list.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Athyrium filix-femina (Common ladyfern)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea)

Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry dogwood)

Lilium philadelphicum (Wood lily)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

Polygonatum biflorum (Smooth solomon's seal)

Viola sororia (Missouri violet)

If you are really interested in having houseplants like the spider plant that are not native to North America, then your best bet for recommendations is a local reputable nursery.  Those are not within our area of expertise.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the above plants:


Aquilegia canadensis


Athyrium filix-femina


Chamaecrista fasciculata


Cornus canadensis


Lilium philadelphicum


Monarda fistulosa


Polygonatum biflorum


Viola sororia

 

 

 

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