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

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

Salvia that needs dividing in Maryville MO
April 09, 2010 - I have some May Night salvia that is 3 years old. Last summer it split in the middle and spent a lot of the summer laid open. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or pruned in some way?
view the full question and answer

Non-native cannas in Sugar Land, TX
September 24, 2009 - I just planted some beautiful canna lilies along my fenceline (about 8 inches off the property line and 2 ft between each plant). My neighbor complained that they were going to go wild and sprout up o...
view the full question and answer

Browning leaves on non-native Burford holly
August 22, 2008 - I have several dwarf Burford hollies whose leaves are browning. The individual leaves have colors of green, dark brown to light brown extending from the stem. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Plants not native to North America in Hawaii
February 18, 2009 - Do not know if you have any experience for Hawaii but here it goes. I live on Maui and have some coco palms, a line of 12, two of them right next to each other (15-20 ft). They are a decent shade of ...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing American from Chinese beautyberry from Huntsville AL
August 03, 2012 - How can I tell American beautyberry from Chinese beautyberry when trying to purchase strictly native plants?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center