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

Saturday - September 15, 2012

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.

ANSWER:

There are two entirely different plants that go by the common name "Sago Palm." The first is Cycas revoluta (sago palm) native to southern Japan. Here is an article on the culture of this plant from the Master Gardeners from the University of Arizona. Another article from plant retailer Jungle Music.

The second "Sago Palm" is Matroxylon sagu (True Sago Palm) which is native to Indonesia, New Guinea and Malaysia. From Pacific Forest Agroforestry here is an article on the culture of members of the genus Metroxylon.

"Philodendron" is a kind of blanket name for a large group of plants native to tropical Central and South America and the West Indies. It is generally considered a house plant. From Botany.com, here is a comprehensive discussion of Philodendron.

Obviously, none of these plants are native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and preservation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. Whether you could grow either of them, indoor or out, in Travis or Williamson Counties is quite out of our area of expertise.


 

More Planting Questions

Patience for slow-growing Baptisia
July 07, 2004 - I have three different varieties of well established Baptisia that I have had for several years ... none of them bloom. One of my plants got a very small flower in April, but just pooped out after th...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Protecting a new patio from oak roots
September 01, 2008 - Hello, I have just formed up for a new patio. I have a Live Oak tree about 2' away from the patio. It has a trunk diameter of about 10", I believe 20-25 years old. Problem: I have 2 large roots in ...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Cardboard or newsprint for mulch from Cedar Park TX
June 09, 2012 - What is your opinion on using cardboard and/or newspaper for mulch in flower beds or around trees?
view the full question and answer

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