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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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Tuesday - November 20, 2007

From: yonkers, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Indoor pot plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just moved into a studio apt. where a lot of heat is provided. Do you have a listing of house plants suitable for warm apartments? I have four windows, all with indirect sunlight.

ANSWER:

This is just way out of our usual line of business. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we focus on the preservation and propagation of plants native to North America. Very few of these would ordinarily be grown as pot plants, and they are all considered to be "outside" plants. Most "pot plants" are tropical or sub-tropical non-native plants, because that is the kind of plant that can survive in a warm, not very brightly lighted indoor atmosphere. We tried Googling "house plants" and got a bunch of sites that give all kinds of advice on selecting and caring for such plants. One of the best is this University of Illinois Extension site. In Texas, most plant nurseries stay open all winter, but in New York (it's cold up there, isn't it?) you may have to go to specialized indoor plant stores. We might suggest that you go to a nursery, look over the indoor plants, maybe write down (from the tag) the scientific name of those you are interested in, and then try Googling on that specific name, see what you can find out.

 

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