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?

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
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

Saturday - July 30, 2011

From: Allen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Transplants
Title: Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have three house plants that were plants I received from my father's funeral services. They were healthy for about two years and then we added some soil and now they are turning brown and appear to be dying. While new sprouts seem to be growing, they continue wilt after being there a few days. I have two lilies and one philodendrum. Please help!

ANSWER:

First, we need to tell you we may not be much help-most house plants are non-native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but the the areas in which they grow natively. Your lilies and philodendron will not appear in our Native Plant Database. From the Black Thumb Guide to Gardening, How to Care for Potted Plants. From PlantCare.com Plant Care for Indoor House Plants.

Now let us make a couple comments from our own experience. The first is that flowering plants are very nice sent as a memorial because the blooms will last longer than cut flowers will. However, those blooming plants may not have much in the way of roots. Nurseries who provide florists with these flowering plants do not have the time and space to grow a plant that is meant to be a permanent feature. With greenhouses, special lighting and plant foods they can produce lovely plants, but they are only expected to live as long as the blooms last. All the energy in the plant has gone into producing those blooms and none in producing roots or leaves, which manufacture the food for the roots. You have done very well to keep your plants going as long as you have. As for adding new dirt, the plants may very well be undergoing transplant shock, as you have suddenly changed their environment.

One more thought-you might consider attempting to propagate new plants from the ones you have. In the articles we linked you to above, there will probably be instructions to do this with specific plants. Lilies are ordinarily grown from bulbs; since we do not know precisely what kind of lily you have, we can't make any suggestions on that. From lilies.org, here is a very comprehensive site on lilies, including Propagation.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native banana trees
June 06, 2008 - I recently planted two types of Banana trees, a Darjeeling and a Giant Nepal. I know that both are hardy to my zone 7 but that the Nepal needed heavy mulching. My first question is how long will it ta...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will survive in Mammoth Lake, CA
June 25, 2009 - What fruit trees survive the Mammoth Lakes winter? What roses will grow in Mammoth? Please give me a list of all trees that grow in Crowley and Mammoth lakes?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native New Dawn rose in Fairfield CT
May 13, 2009 - Hi! Can you help me with blind shoots on a climbing rose, New Dawn? The sun is planted in the south side of the house and gets plenty of light. I have only lightly fertilized it twice a year last yea...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Bryophyllum spp. in Austin
May 13, 2010 - I was given two varieties of what I now believe are 'Mother of Millions' and saw that they're considered a noxious weed in Australia. Are these plants considered dangerous to TX if I keep them in ...
view the full question and answer

Moving non-native globe willow in Mansfield TX
August 10, 2009 - I have a globe willow that we planted in a little landscaped area out front of house not realizing how large top would get. Can I move the tree without damaging it? It is about 9 ft tall, 5-6 ft wid...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center