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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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Monday - July 06, 2009

From: Denver, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Propagation
Title: Hand pollinating watermelon grown indoors in Denver
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi! I'm growing watermelon indoors and I was wondering if I had to self pollinate it? Their flowers just started blooming! If so, how do I go about doing this? Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Okay, every time Mr. Smarty Plants thinks he has heard everything, something else pops up. You're growing a watermelon vine indoors? We guess we can understand that, as watermelons do not naturally grow in Colorado. In fact, they are non-native to North America, having originated in Africa, and are heavily hybridized.  At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. So, while your plant falls out of our area of expertise, we found (much to our astonishment) a website called "My Jungle Balcony" where watermelon was being grown on a high-rise balcony. The website Hand Pollination of Watermelon Flowers should have the information you're looking for if anything does.

Some pictures on the subject.

 

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