Rent Shop 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

Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Grand River, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Plants for planting in gourds
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the sides of pots, I am wanting something small like that but something with blooms on them. Is there a flower like that? I would prefer a perennial and an indoor/outdoor would be nice. Is there anything out there like that? I live in Western Ky. I'm not sure what zone that is?

ANSWER:

Much as we hate to admit it, it looks like this is something we can't help you with. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but the area in which they are being grown. Very probably, the gourds you are thinking of are members of the Lageneria genus, perhaps Lageneria siceraria, native to Zimbabwe. We agree with you that some kind of succulent is likely the best choice for growing as you describe. We went to our Native Plant Database and found no succulents native to Kentucky. You can very easily go to a large nursery, and they usually have a wide selection of succulents, probably all non-native to Kentucky or North Amerca. Since we can't help you from our database, we found several websites that might give you some information: The Succulent Page, an Associated Content site on Decorating Gourds which includes information on making planters, and a plantzafrica site Lageneria siceraria. If, when you are shopping for succulents, you find one with a common or Latin name on the label, you might check that out by Googling either or both, which will help you with information on the care and culture of that plant.

 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Winter damage to yucca in Winona MN
April 23, 2009 - This past winter was hard on my established yucca plant and most of the foliage has discolored and it is not very pleasing to look at. What should I do about the discolored portion? Should I remove ...
view the full question and answer

Damage to Agave in New Braunfels, TX
August 21, 2008 - In a flower box, I have an Agave on which the leaves have been damaged. It looks as if a deer rubbed his antlers on it. Is there any animal in south central Texas that would try to eat an agave?
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

20 years to bloom
May 02, 2007 - My girlfriend and i have come up with an interesting question, we were wondering if there is a plant in existance that takes over 20 years to bloom, and how many different kinds (if any) there are? We...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating yuccas from yard in Woodinville, WA
August 21, 2008 - My plant areas are being overrun by Yucca plants. They are also growing and destroying my asphalt driveway. How can I get rid of some of them permanently?
view the full question and answer

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