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

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

 

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Non-native lilacs for wedding bouquet in July in Salt Lake City
May 07, 2010 - My friend's daughter wants to have lilacs in her wedding bouquet, but she is not getting married until July 15th. I realize lilacs are spring flowers, but will there be anywhere in the U.S. that lila...
view the full question and answer

Source for pecan mulch used at Wildflower Center from Austin
November 11, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Pants I was recently at the Wildflower Center. I saw all the pecan shell mulch and was wondering where you get it from. I noticed awhile back that it is one of the recommended mu...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a new duck pond that are duck proof
January 28, 2009 - Sir. I live in Charleston SC. I dug a pond for ducks in my backyard. I want to plant grass and anything else that will grow around the pond that the ducks won't want to eat up. What should I buy to p...
view the full question and answer

Looking for Irises for Coryell County, TX.
May 07, 2012 - I'm looking for a hearty plant for Coryell County, TX. My mother always referred to these plants as "flags." I assume it is a type of iris. I'm looking for the one that will survive in the Cent...
view the full question and answer

Finding a native plant garden designer from Austin
April 10, 2011 - I was at the center today and told to contact you on the website for suggestions on who to call to hire a garden designer to come to my house,lay out a garden and select plants, etc.
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