En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 25, 2007

From: McKinney, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Non-fruiting squash
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


With all this rain in Dallas why would our Zuchinni and Yellow squash be beautiful and green but not produce any squash?


The first question Mr. Smarty Plants would ask is are there any flowers? No flowers, no fruit. The flowering process is complex and may be influenced by factors such as temperature and mineral nutrition. With all of the rain this spring, temperatures have been lower than normal over most of the state. This could delay flowering. The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous in fertilizer that you use may also be a factor. Higher nitrogen tends to stimulate vegatative growth, while higher phosphorous enhances flowering. Since you mention beautiful green plants, you may look into this.

If you have flowers, the problem may be a lack of pollinators. Honey bee populations are declining across the country, and they are sorely missed by farmers and gardeners. Members of the squash family (Cucurbitaceae) are not wind pollinated, and must have a pollinator. The University of California at Davis has a very informative article about this problem, and explains how you can become a pollinator yourself.



More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
April 24, 2012 - Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?
view the full question and answer

Possible damage by invasive, non-native earthworms in compost
January 03, 2007 - I received a worm bin (vermicomposter) for Christmas. The instructions that came with the bin say to use the red wiggler worm (Eisenia foetida) and that it is okay if some of the worms go into your g...
view the full question and answer

Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
April 22, 2007 - I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native navel orange
October 03, 2008 - Hello Green Guru, Question: Why hasn't Navel Orange Tree grown or sprouted new branches? It's 3 years old and is about 5 feet tall and has remained this size. It hasn't grown at all. It only ha...
view the full question and answer

Leaf loss on non-native Elaeocarpus decipiens
July 01, 2008 - Hello, I had my landscaper plant Japanese Blueberry bushes over the winter along my fence to act as a privacy screen. Their long, narrow and full evergreen characteristics are ideal for creating priv...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center