Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - January 11, 2009

From: Hamilton, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care for non-native red orchid
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

In a nutshell, I was away for about a week and before leaving I watered my red orchid (as instructions said you were only supposed to water it once a week and place in a spot with sunlight but not direct/extreme sunlight). I came back from vacation and my plant is wilting! I of course am very sad, as this is my favorite plant and a birthday gift. How can I recover this plant? I need help!

ANSWER:

While there are orchids native to North America, Phalaenopsis corningiana (red orchid) is not one of them. Rather, it is a native of Borneo, probably quite a different environment than your home. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native to North America, and recommend plants native to the area in which they are being grown. So, we have no knowledge of what might be wrong with your plant, nor information in our Native Plant Database. We did find information saying that this plant needs a strong humidity in the atmosphere, especially at night. In nature, night condensation covers the leaves abundantly. It is quite possible that the indoor environment, with a heating system, allowed your plant to dry out. About all we can suggest is lightly misting it in the evening, and see if it perks up. Here is an article about your plant, wildorchids.us Red orchid: A Rare and Extremely Exquisite Flower

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning a non-native Hinoki cypress from Denver NC
July 08, 2011 - Hi! Our painters have asked that we trim the Golden Hinoki Cypress back from the house. The tree is about 20' tall, beautiful and healthy. Since it is July and therefore, HOT! I'm wondering how t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Filaree seeds for science classroom
May 30, 2008 - Can I purchase Filaree seeds for my science classroom? If so, where?
view the full question and answer

Lantana in hanging basket not blooming in Dover PA
June 23, 2010 - We have a lantana Bandana trailing gold in a hanging planter in full sun. It hardly blooms. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Rust spots on non-native red tip photinia
July 10, 2008 - I live in Oklahoma and my red tips have rust spots on leaves and some plants are losing leaves. This is a clay soil; can you give me any info. on how to solve this problem?
view the full question and answer

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