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
1 rating

Monday - October 06, 2008

From: Digby, NS
Region: Canada
Topic: General Botany
Title: North American plant that inhibits mold and mildew growth
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi! There, I just wanted to know is there a north American plant that inhibits or eradicates mold and mildew growth, in the home. Also do they make a CFL (the new energy efficient spiral) type light bulbs for plant growth that really work. Thank you

ANSWER:

Sorry, but Mr. Smarty Plants hasn't been able to find any plant in North America (or elsewhere, for that matter) that inhibits or eradicates the growth of mold/mildew.  We did learn that there is a leachate from compost of alfalfa and sunflower stalks that controls black mold (Aspergillus niger) in onion sets, but I think what you are looking for is a plant that has some airborne component that inhibits or eradicates the growth of mold and mildew on surfaces (such as walls) in the home.  So far as I know, it doesn't exist.  Your best bet is to reduce the moisture in your home and provide more air circulation.  Here is some advice from the University of Florida Extension Service about preventing and removing mildew.

We don't have any firsthand knowledge about the effectiveness of the new CFL grow lights but they are touted as being efficient.  The 2700K bulb from Green Thumb supposedly provides more red spectrum light for flowering in plants and their 5000K bulb is full spectrum to promote overall plant growth; but, as I said, we don't have any firsthand knowledge of their effectiveness.  You can find many more articles about "CFL grow lights" by Googling the terms.

 

 

More General Botany Questions

A garlic plant with only one clove in Ft. Worth, TX?
August 08, 2011 - Is there a garlic that does not have cloves? I have been using what appears to be garlic from my garden and it is garlicy, hot and delicious. I have spent many hours online but cannot find this garlic...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on temperature
October 18, 2005 - Mr.Smarty Plants, I am a student at Hill Freedman Middle school and I have a science fair coming up. I really need a answer to this question "What effect does temperature have on the growth of plants...
view the full question and answer

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

Student research on fire-resistance plant labels from Garden Ridge TX
November 13, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm a 4th grader at Garden Ridge Elementary in Comal County. I am researching fire resistant plants. Can you please tell me if most plants' tags say whether they are fire r...
view the full question and answer

Blooms as far as the eye can see
March 06, 2008 - Why are some wildflowers capable of putting on spectacular sweeps of blooms "for as far as the eye can see" such as Indian paintbrush at Vail Pass in Colorado, or bluebonnets in the Texas hill count...
view the full question and answer

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