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 - July 15, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pollination of non-native cucumber plants in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 3 cucumber plants that are in planter boxes hanging from my wrought iron fence and they use it as a trellis. All 3 plants are producing only female flowers. No male. None of them have produced cucumbers. Lots of female flowers, no maturing cucumbers. Do the female flowers need the male to pollinate or can they pollinate without? The cucumber plant, themselves, are very big and healthy. Please help me. Thank you! Rhonda

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The cucumber is native to India, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. In addition, as with most food plants, there has been so much hybridizing that it is frequently difficult to even recognize the parent plant. We found one article from The University of Illinois Extension,  Cucumber, that hopefully has some information that will help you.

Although this plant is not in our Native Plant Database, and we have no personal experience with it, we do know that there are special problems in pollination in the Cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, melons, gourds, squash and pumpkins.  To try to help you with that, we suggest you read this University of Nebraska at Lincoln Extension article on Bee Pollination of Cucurbit crops.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
February 10, 2010 - When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
view the full question and answer

Care of the non-native Aralias (Genus Polyscias)
January 04, 2008 - Today I purchased a POLYSCIAS common name "Aralia" I was told that can be happy inside, little light. Please could you inform me how to take care: feeding, fertilizing, watering needs? Does it bl...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
September 07, 2008 - I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green a...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizer burns on non-native St. Augustine grass
September 07, 2009 - We put summer guard fertilizer on our lush St. Augustine grass and it didn't get watered in after application. As a result we have burned the yard badly in patches. What can we do to correct proble...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree bought from a magazine ad
August 11, 2013 - I recently submitted the following question to Ask An Expert. They were unable to identify the plant. I hope you will be able to. Can you help me by either identifying this plant or advising me 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