Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 22, 2015

From: Deville, LA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Indoor and Outdoor, Fast Growing Plants for California
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Iím looking for the best plants for me. I have small kids so they would have to be safe. I would like them to be able to grow inside or outside. I would love for them to grow fast and reproduce fast.

ANSWER:

There are some native California plants that will grow indoors as well as outside such as Adiantum capillus-veneris (Southern maidenhair fern), but looking for the ones that will grow fast and reproduce fast as well as those that are non-toxic and safe for children really narrows the list. Also there are several California native cactus (in the Ferocactus, Escobaria, Opuntia and Mammillaria genera)  that will grow indoors as well as in the garden but they have nasty spines and could be a hazard for small children.

Other ferns to try include Athyrium filix-femina (common lady fern).

Perhaps one of the native Salvias might grow well indoors as well as outdoors for you.  Try Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage) to see if it will work indoors. I could find no reference to this plant being poisonous (unlike some other Salvias). Good luck.

 

From the Image Gallery


Southern maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

Southern maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

Common lady fern
Athyrium filix-femina

Hummingbird sage
Salvia spathacea

Hummingbird sage
Salvia spathacea

More Plant Lists Questions

Vines for a Chicago Pergola in Zone 5
November 28, 2015 - I'm looking for some recommendations of vines for my south-facing pergola. I live in a northwest suburb of Chicago, in Zone 5 with heavy clay soil.
view the full question and answer

Source for records of Pleistocene flora of Central Texas
December 16, 2013 - Part of your answer to a question from October 12, 2010 is "..moreover, the evidence goes even further back than the 1800s. Studies of Pleistocene deposits from Central Texas showed ancestral cedar p...
view the full question and answer

Companion Plants for Rhododendron periclymenoides
February 24, 2015 - Could you identify companion plants that work well with the pink azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides)?
view the full question and answer

Safety of hyrbrid and non-native trees for dogs and horses from Lawton OK
March 25, 2013 - Are Arrowwood Viburnum tree, Sargent Crabapple tree & the Washington Hawthorn tree safe for dogs & horses?
view the full question and answer

List of native plants found in South Texas counties
August 22, 2015 - Does the LBJ Wildflower Ctr. have a place on its site where lists of native plants found in each Texas county can be accessed? I am working on a comparative database of commonly used sources (e.g., La...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.