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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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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!

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Sunday - March 26, 2006

From: Newark, NJ
Region: Select Region
Topic: Propagation
Title: Native habitate sunlight as opposed to artificial light
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Does a plant grow best in sunlight or artificial light?

ANSWER:

Plants grow best in sunlight of the intensity and daily duration that is found in their native habitat. Natural sunlight is what plants evolved with and it provides the full light spectrum that a plant needs. The orange-red and blue-violet portions of the light spectrum are particularly important for photosynthesis. However, modern plant lights can approximate the natural light spectrum remarkably well. With both natural and artificial light, it is important to learn whether a plant prefers full sun, partial sun, or shade, since too much or not enough sun or shade can inhibit growth or even kill a plant.
 

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