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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - July 01, 2006

From: Oldsmar, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native Mandevilla
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have purchased 2 Red Riding Hood Mandevilla's. The tag on it says it blooms spring to frost, full sun, ave size is 8 feet tall & spreading. I live in the Tampa FL area. Does this plant grow as a shrub or does it need something to help it climb, like a vine?

ANSWER:

Our interest and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is in plants native to North America. Red Riding Hood Mandevilla (Mandevilla splendens or Dipladenia spendens or Dipladenia sanderi) is a native of Brazil and isn't really in our purview. However, we can guide you to more information on the care of your plant. It is a woody vine and does need something to climb on.
 

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