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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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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!

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Friday - November 08, 2013

From: Chillicothe, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in zone 5, zip 62523, wintering liriope spicata starter plants in basement, ambient consistent. Do I need grow lamps or is the plant satisfied being dormant as long as I do not let it dry out? Also, is this too invasive to use as a border plant?

ANSWER:

Liriope spicata is a species of low, herbaceous flowering plants from East Asia. Common names include creeping lilyturf, lilyturf and monkey grass. Because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (home of Mr. Smarty Plants) is committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native to North America, we have no information on this plant in our Native Plant Database. This article from North Carolina State University gives you information on growing it and also mentions that it can be invasive. We could find no mention of using grow lights to winter the plant over. This article from the Missouri Botanical Garden says it is hardy from Zones 4 to 10, so perhaps it could safely be planted in the ground (insulated by the dirt around it) rather than depriving it of natural sunlight all winter.

 

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