En EspaÑol

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

Monday - October 26, 2009

From: Oak Lawn, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Did my neighbor's zucchini affect my apple tree from Oak Lawn, IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My neighbor planted zucchini plants near a flowering non-fruit producing apple tree in my yard. Soon afterwards in July the tree began to shed leaves. Could the zucchini plant have caused this?


At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the care, preservation and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Neither the zucchini nor the apple tree is native to North America. In addition, most vegetables and fruits have been so hybridized that it would be impossible to determine their origin in any case. Since we have no information on these plants in our Native Plant Database, we will just be guessing, but our guess is that the answer is no. Unless the zucchini is so rampant (which we understand they can be) that it is growing up over your apple tree and shading out the leaves, it's unlikely that the zucchini is a threat. For better information than we can give you, contact the University of Illinois Extension Office for Cook County. The horticulturists at county extension offices often are very knowledgeable about fruit and vegetable plants.

More Turf Questions

How to control Yellow Woodsorrel in Habiturf?
March 19, 2013 - Last year we planted Habiturf in our front lawn and prepared the ground as directed with organic compost. This year we have an infestation of low growing yellow oxalis which we believe came in with t...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing lawn substitute for Pennsylvania
March 19, 2008 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants Please help. We are moving to an old farm house in Western Pennsylvania with several acres of lawn. Our plan is to return much of the land to wildlife friendly meadows and woo...
view the full question and answer

Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
September 09, 2014 - Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
view the full question and answer

Elimination of non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem in lawn
June 06, 2006 - How can I eliminate an annual infestation of king ranch bluestem in my bermuda lawn? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center