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?

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
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

Thursday - April 15, 2010

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Blueberries and non-native squash in Fort Worth
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Blueberries in North Central Texas-Fort Worth In sun or shade? Got only male blossoms on my squash last year why?

ANSWER:

Excerpted from a previous recent (very recent, like today) answer:

"Most of the commercially produced blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) known to American consumers are grown on plants native to the eastern 1/3 of the US.  Parts of the Rocky Mountain states, the Pacific Northwest and most of Canada are also known for their own beloved indigenous species of blueberries and the closely-related huckleberries.

No blueberrry species are native to nor suitable for Austin.  Unfortunately, the soil and climate in Austin, Texas is not conducive to growing blueberries.  One characteristic that every species of North American Vacciniums has in common, whether it's blueberries, huckleberries, cranberries, lingonberries or bilberries is its requirement for acid soil.  The soil in Austin, being very, very alkaline is nearly impossible for blueberries.  It is possible to amend the soil to make it more acid, but keeping the soil from reverting to its natural, basic state requires ongoing effort that you will probably find to be too much trouble."

This answer referred to Austin, but we can assure you that it holds true for Fort Worth, as well. We can only assume that one of the  big box home improvement stores have put blueberries on sale in their nursery, for there to be this much interest in something that will not grow in Central Texas.

As to the squash, like most vegetables and fruits you would buy at the grocery store, squash is non-native to North America, and has been so hybridized over time that just tracing its parent would be impossible. Since are are native plant people, we don't know male from female flowers on a squash; we do know that they are pollinated by bees, which are in very short supply all over the world right now, for various reasons.  We found this website from The Gardener's Network How to Grow Squash that might help. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Is cement leaching into flower beds in Colorado Springs?
May 16, 2009 - I have posed this question to a number of garden centers in our area around Colorado Springs--only to rec. a repeated--"Gee, I don't know." When we moved to our new home there was a rock concrete ...
view the full question and answer

A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
view the full question and answer

Weeds invading non-native Asian Jasmine in Dallas
April 26, 2011 - Weeds have invaded my Asian Jasmine. What can I do to kill the weeds and not the Asian Jasmine?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center