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

Wednesday - May 18, 2011

From: Mason, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native African violets from Mason OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have had 3 african violets for at least 4 weeks. I continue to water them and have moved their location. They continue to have wilted leaves. Are they done for or is there something I can do to get them healthy?


The African violet, botanical name Saintpaulia, is native to, well, Africa and is a tropicsl plant mostly grown as a house plant in this country. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Just about all houseplants are non-native tropicals that are able to handle the inhospitable conditions involved in growing indoors.

Since we have no personal experience with African violets and they will not, of course, appear in our Native Plant database, we would like to provide you with some sources for information on the plants that will surely help you more than we could.

Purdue University Coopertive Extension Service - African Violet Care

University of Rhode Island Horticulture Program - Caring for African Violets

African Violet Society of America - Basic Care





More Non-Natives Questions

Long-legged bugs eating roses in Richmond VA
May 22, 2011 - There are bugs eating my roses. What can I do? They look like long bugs with a lot of legs.
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for non-native, invasive bamboo in New York
March 26, 2006 - I hope you can help me. This is not about wildflowers. I'm interested in planting bamboo as a screen (25'+). I know all the pros/cons and would need to have a nursery to put in barrier. I need some...
view the full question and answer

Inadvisability of allowing native orchids to cross-breed
May 17, 2006 - Hello LBJ Native plants helper! This is the perfect place for me to ask a question that has been very perplexing to me. I live in Northern California and am doing research for naturalization of the te...
view the full question and answer

Fuzzy Citrus Fruit on Satsuma and Lemon Trees
September 13, 2014 - A man asked you about fuzzy little small fruit-like balls that looked like tiny lemons. I have huge numbers of these on both my mature Satsuma and lemon tree this year. I get 100's of really great f...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Senna corymbosa
September 28, 2008 - I have a large Texas Senna tree - at least 7'x8'. It is covered in beautiful yellow blooms; however, it will need to be pruned in the winter. Please let me know how much to prune it and when is th...
view the full question and answer

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