Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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

Friday - August 14, 2009

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Container Gardens, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Native plants for a New York, NY apartment?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What are some native Mid-Atlantic/New England plants that can be grown well indoors? I live in an apartment in New York City and have recently realised that the plants I've been growing are all foreign (and in one case, potentially invasive) species. I'd like to change that, but I can't find any information on native houseplants anywhere.

ANSWER:

We love your train of thought!  Unfortunately, with the exception of cacti and succulents, very few North American native plants are well-suited for indoor gardening.  Some people have success growing some woodland plants in terrariums, but even those are rarely long-lived.  About eleven species of Sedum are native to New York and the surrounding states.  You might have some success culturing a kind of rock garden in your apartment window using some of those lovely and interesting groundcovers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woodland stonecrop
Sedum ternatum

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
view the full question and answer

Century Plant woes
May 04, 2016 - My century plant was fine two weeks ago. Tonight I seen this. Not sure what is happening. It 9 years old. IMG_4716.JPG
view the full question and answer

Ingestion of agave sap from Albuquerque NM
June 11, 2013 - My boyfriend was out in the Arizona desert without water for two days and sought moisture through what he thought was a yucca plant but instead we believe was agave. He sucked the moisture off the ins...
view the full question and answer

Removing grassy weeds from cactus garden in Corpus Christi TX
May 07, 2013 - How do you get grassy weeds out of a cactus garden? I don't want to use roundup around the cacti? Can you recommend a herbicide that won't harm the cactus?
view the full question and answer

Sap from agave causing reactions from Edgewater FL
April 06, 2012 - Not only was I stuck with the century plant thorns and needle like ends when I was digging up its pups, but I also broke the carrot-like root of a few when I was transplanting and got the white sap on...
view the full question and answer

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