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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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Saturday - March 24, 2007

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Winter survival of non-native Mandevilla vine
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Last summer I bought a dwarf mandavilla vine that blooms deep red and planted it in a pot and kept in on my east-facing porch, where its tendrils hung over the pot. I had to move it to shelter for the winter, and it's tendrils are long enough now that I'd like to put it in a permanent location and let them wind around something. If I put it in a larger pot on the porch and let it wind around the porch support, I think it will freeze in the winter because it's in a pot. ( The north wind blows around that corner.) Can I plant it in the ground in front of my porch, where it gets some shelter from the north wind, without it freezing next winter? What would I have to do to prevent it from freezing? Can I plant it in the ground in some other area without it freezing? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise at the Wildflower Center are with plants that are native to North America. The Mandevilla vine (Mandevilla spp.) is native to Brazil and not native to North America. That said, Mr. Smarty Plants can guide you to some sites that should be able to help you find the answers to your question. First of all, mandevilla is recommended for USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. San Marcos, Texas, is in Zone 8 which means your mandevilla vine is likely to freeze to the ground most winters anywhere outdoors. There is the possibility that it could come out again from the roots in the spring unless it experiences a severe freeze or a particularly hard winter.

Here are a couple of sites that discuss winter care for mandevilla: HortChat.com and Garden-Services.com

 

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