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

Non-native Coconut palms and Christmas palms in Merritt Island, FL
August 10, 2010 - Last winter the coconut and Christmas Palms all suffered. I have coconuts to plant, but can't get them to put forth a sprout, and eventually grow into a tree. I have put some in the ground half-way....
view the full question and answer

Looking for yellow bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) and native substitutes
February 14, 2008 - I have been looking for years for a yellow bottle bush. It is identical to the red but is yellow. there are several varieties, but the one i want is just like the red one in appearance. I live in Flor...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Identification of red lily-like blossom in Austin, TX
September 21, 2012 - Rain at last in Austin! The rain lilies are up, but wait, what on earth is this? Lily like, 6 petals, but a cluster of 6 stalks w/blood red blooms slightly larger than our rain lilies - Off under a ...
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