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 - May 10, 2013

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Plants for indoor container gardening from Lax Vegas NV
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is an good flower to grow in a pot? I live in a apt., and like roses,tulips etc. if that helps any.

ANSWER:

We are probably not going to be able to help you select a plant, but we will do what we can on container gardening. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants evolved; in your case, Clark County NV, in the southernmost tip of Nevada.

From Wikipedia:

"A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height."

We can tell you that roses need lots of sun, and grow outside, where they can get that sun.

Again from Wikipedia:

"The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, of which up to 109 species[1] have been described and which belongs to the family Liliaceae.[2] The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, Anatolia (Turkey), Israel, Palestine, North Africa, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of diversity is in the Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Tien Shan mountains.[3] A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or to be displayed as fresh-cut flowers. Most cultivars of tulip are derived from Tulipa gesneriana."

Tulips need full sun or part shade, and grow best in areas with cold winters and cool springs; in other words, not in the artificically controlled weather of the indoors.

Neither of your preferences are native to North America, and very few plants that are native will survive the very extreme atmosphere of living indoors. Here are some helpful sites, including two from the Wildflower Center:

How-To Article: Container Gardening with Native Plants. We also invite you to watch this video by Andrea DeLong-Amaya, our Horticulture Director, on how to plant in a container.

From Better Homes and Gardens, 24 of the easiest houseplants you can grow.

From About.com: Twelve Tropical Plants for Indoors.


 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Plant for eastern facing side of house in Washington
August 26, 2008 - I was considering putting some Lily of the Nile in front of the eastern facing side of my home. Is this plant a suitable choice for planting here in Eastern Washington?
view the full question and answer

Plants for pots outdoors in winter in Virginia
October 02, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what plants would be best to grow outdoors, in pots, in Virginia, in the winter? This is a lot of restrictions but we just need 2-3 plants for our office pati...
view the full question and answer

Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
March 22, 2012 - Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

What about Asian Jasmine and scrub oaks?
September 01, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have several clusters of native scrub oaks in my yard. I planted Asian jasmine under them many years ago. The trees look fine, but an arborist has told me that the Asian ...
view the full question and answer

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