En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-native house plants stressed from Allen TX

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 Container Gardens Questions

Patio plants suffering from heat in Austin
August 22, 2010 - My patio plants are burning up from the intense sun of Austin's August. Last year it even burned the leaves. Besides moving 40 plants to a shadier spot do you have suggestions on how to protect the...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for poolside in Central Texas
August 21, 2010 - What native plants would your recommend for poolside landscaping, and poolside containers? Tons of sun and white limestone patio.. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Holding an Acer rubrum in a container for two years
October 10, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am thinking about ordering a Red Maple tree that is cultivated from Mount Vernon. I appreciate the historic nature of such a tree. The tree will be shipped to me and is ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for containers
April 22, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have found the website very helpful, but have a few questions of my own. I recently purchased the winecup plant, phlox and cedar sage perennials. I have planted them in ...
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