Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 31, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native squash plants wilting in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My squash plants were looking really healthy with only some yellow leaves which I was removing and this morning the plants just seemed to fall over. Lots of wilting and some of the branches are falling off. The fruit that was starting to form is rotting. What do I need to do to save it?

ANSWER:

"Squash" generally refers to four species of the genus Cucurbita, native to Mexico and Central America. It was one of the "three sisters" cultivated in Mesoamerica 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, which were squash, maize (corn) and beans. Both because of the vagueness of their origins and the fact that they constantly cross-breed or new species are developed by horticulturists, they fall out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.

It is our understanding that the Cucurbita genus is very susceptible to a number of pests and diseases. Since the plant is not considered native and we are not plant pathologists, we really can't be of much help. However, we found a website called The Gardener's Network on How to Grow Squash that might be of some help to you. Also, the County Extension offices are much more attuned to the planting and care of food crops, so we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Travis County.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Star Jasmine poisonous to dogs from Dallas
May 20, 2013 - Is star jasmine poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Fruiting of non-native fig trees
September 30, 2007 - Regarding a Fig Tree that I have, it's about 3yrs old. Last year it gave us about a handful of figs and they were good. This year the small tree is full of figs and they remain green. This summer I h...
view the full question and answer

Selective herbicide for non-native bermudagrass from Venice FL
December 02, 2010 - Is there a selective herbicide that can be used for grasses like Floratam and Bermuda along with various weeds that will not damage Wedelia?
view the full question and answer

Mid-summer watering needs of non-native dwarf Meyer Lemon tree in Austin
March 20, 2011 - I live in Central Texas outside Austin city limits. I've recently purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree and planted it in a large pot. It's doing very well. I will be out-of-state from July through ...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum
June 03, 2006 - I have a white lily that is in a pot and has already bloomed four flowers. will it bloom again? Can I replant this outside right now or what should I do with it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.