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

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

Moving non-native globe willow in Ft. Worth TX
August 10, 2009 - I planted a globe willow in a small area in front of my house and it is probably going to need more space. Can I replant it in a more open area without killing it? It is about 8-9 ft tall, 2-3 ft of ...
view the full question and answer

Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
April 22, 2007 - I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bamboo for sloped river bank in Texas?
April 01, 2010 - What type of native plants/trees/shrubs/grasses would you recommend planting on a 20 ft sloped bank on the Colorado river in Texas to prevent further erosion of the bank? How do you feel about bamboo?...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant, probably Coleus
September 16, 2007 - What would cause the new leaves of a house plant to be solid green? When I bought it, the original leaves were almost like a "tie-dye" fabric (green,yellow,orange, and red).
view the full question and answer

New growth on Amur Maple turning black in McPherson, Kansas.
June 29, 2010 - Re: Amur Maple bushes Approximately 2 yrs old, 4 ft tall. New growth at the end of some branches is turning black. Plants are mulched with grass clippings. We live in Kansas. Thanks for any info....
view the full question and answer

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