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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.

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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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Friday - May 10, 2013

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Plants for indoor container gardening from Lax Vegas NV
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is an good flower to grow in a pot? I live in a apt., and like roses,tulips etc. if that helps any.

ANSWER:

We are probably not going to be able to help you select a plant, but we will do what we can on container gardening. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants evolved; in your case, Clark County NV, in the southernmost tip of Nevada.

From Wikipedia:

"A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height."

We can tell you that roses need lots of sun, and grow outside, where they can get that sun.

Again from Wikipedia:

"The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, of which up to 109 species[1] have been described and which belongs to the family Liliaceae.[2] The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, Anatolia (Turkey), Israel, Palestine, North Africa, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of diversity is in the Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Tien Shan mountains.[3] A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or to be displayed as fresh-cut flowers. Most cultivars of tulip are derived from Tulipa gesneriana."

Tulips need full sun or part shade, and grow best in areas with cold winters and cool springs; in other words, not in the artificically controlled weather of the indoors.

Neither of your preferences are native to North America, and very few plants that are native will survive the very extreme atmosphere of living indoors. Here are some helpful sites, including two from the Wildflower Center:

How-To Article: Container Gardening with Native Plants. We also invite you to watch this video by Andrea DeLong-Amaya, our Horticulture Director, on how to plant in a container.

From Better Homes and Gardens, 24 of the easiest houseplants you can grow.

From About.com: Twelve Tropical Plants for Indoors.


 

 

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