By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Mandevilla is a native tropical vine. It produces masses of bright, usually pink, trumpet-shaped flowers which may grow 4 inches (10 cm.) across. The plants are not winter hardy in most zones of the United States and have a temperature minimum of 45-50 F. (7-10 C.). Unless you are in the tropical south, you will need to grow mandevilla as a houseplant. This plant has particular needs and growing mandevilla vine indoors can take some space.
Mandevilla Growing Conditions
The vine is hardy to USDA zone 9, which means you need to grow mandevilla as a houseplant during the fall and winter in cooler climes. In nature the vines twine around any available edifice or support and can grow up to 30 feet (9 m.) in length.
They prefer partial sun in rich moist soil with plenty of organic matter. As outdoor plants, they need water frequently and fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer with a high phosphorus food.
The plant will go dormant in winter and may even lose some of its leaves but will regrow when spring warms up the air. The best temperatures for mandevilla are above 60 F. (15 C.) at night.
Mandevilla as a Houseplant
Moving the plant to the interior provides different growing conditions for it. Therefore, it is important to know how to care for mandevilla indoors. Mandevilla houseplants should not be moved inside until you are sure there are no bug hitchhikers.
Mandevilla houseplants are a bit fussy and require special growing conditions. In its habitat it can grow 7 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) per season, so this isn’t a little counter top or window box houseplant. Trim the plant as needed to keep it in the confines of the room in which it is growing.
A greenhouse environment is ideal or you can grow the plant near a sunny window with some protection from scorching midday sun. If you are growing mandevilla vine indoors, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t flower. You would need excess high artificial light to force buds and blooms.
The plant will not bloom when overwintering mandevilla inside and goes dormant until brighter spring light arrives.
How to Care for Mandevilla Indoors
You can just grow it like a regular plant inside or you can cut it back to just 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm.) and pot it up. Move the pot to a cool, dim area where temperatures average 55 to 60 F. (13 to 15 C.).
Cut watering in half during the dormant period and remove spent leaves and dead plant material in spring. The indoor mandevilla plant needs to remain fairly dry to prevent rot.
Keep the indoor mandevilla plant moderately dry over the winter and with a little luck you will see sprouts in spring. Move the pot to a sunny location and pinch the shoots to force bushier growth. Start fertilizing every two weeks with a high phosphorus plant food.
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Read more about Mandevilla
Care of the Mandevilla
Mandevilla (Mandevilla spp.) is a woody vine prized for the big, trumpet-shaped flowers that adorn the plant nonstop throughout spring and summer. Mandevilla is available in at least 100 species, and some grow as much as 20 feet in a single season. Larger varieties require support of an arbor or trellis, but more compact cultivars are happy to twine through a deck railing or climb over a mailbox. Although hardiness varies somewhat depending on species, most mandevilla plants are appropriate for planting in the warm climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 9 through 11.
Plant mandevilla where the plant will get at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Mandevilla grows in nearly any well-drained soil.
Locate your mandevilla near a supportive structure such as a sturdy fence, trellis or arbor.
Pinch the tips of young vines to encourage the plant to branch out, which will result in a bushier, more attractive plant. Continue to pinch the tips as needed, using your fingernails or garden pruners, to promote bushiness and keep the plant balanced and neat.
Fertilize mandevilla every two to three weeks throughout the growing season, using a general-purpose water-soluble fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer according to specifications provided on the label.
Bring mandevilla indoors before temperatures drop to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the plant down to 8 to 10 inches, and then place it in a sunny location. Provide only enough water to keep the soil from drying out completely.
Prune mandevilla in late winter or early spring. Trim the plant to maintain the desired size and shape, and remove old, woody growth and crowded stems. Mandevilla is a sturdy plant that grows back and blooms even if trimmed close to the ground.
3.) Move your Mandevilla into a Heated Greenhouse
Of course, you can use a heated greenhouse for full plants, vines, or trimmings of your Mandevilla.
If your greenhouse is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, your Mandevilla will continue to grow and will not fall dormant. If you choose to relocate your plant or vine to a greenhouse, remember the following:
- Keep your plants on the dry side, but do not let them completely dry out watch for dry-looking soil!
- Cut the vines down to 8-12 inches for best results
- Make sure your tropical plants receive enough light
- Trim the plant as much as needed to ensure it fits in the confines of the space
If you follow these directions, your tropical beauty will be ready to grow and blossom come springtime.
How to Care for Your Mandevilla
Mandevilla can make a great, colorful addition to your garden or patio. This plant is getting more and more popular with home gardeners. Mandevillas flower beautifully and they provide a very pretty sight, especially during warmer months.
Mandevillas got their name after Henry Mandeville, a gardener and diplomat. This is a small, exotic plant best known for its twining stems. The plant has beautiful, oval-shaped green leaves.
These plants are sometimes mistaken for dipladenia, but they are not the same. They are similar plants, but there are enough differences to tell them apart. Dipladenia plants have larger flowers and their leaves are not as leathery.
There are several popular varieties you can find in stores: pink (Alice Dupont), yellow, White Delight, Red Riding Hood and darker red (Ruby Star). There is also a new variety, called “Stars and Stripes”. They are all beautiful and will make a colorful addition to your home, backyard, balcony or patio.
The good news is that Mandevillas are easy to care for, so they are a good choice even for beginner gardeners.
Optimal Growing Conditions
Mandevillas are best to be grown on a trellis. They vine beautifully and make a great sight. This is one of the ways to tell them apart from dipladenia: dipladenia is often potted or used as a basket plant. Mandevillas tend to be very “showy” and they flower beautifully and readily, especially during the warmer months.
These plants require lots of light so it’s best to position them somewhere where they can get high, bright sunlight. When choosing the best soil, use a well-drained soil since these plants tend to be very sensitive to over-watering. It’s also important to allow the plants to dry between waterings. When you water, water thoroughly but slowly so all the soil can get wet.
Also, don’t forget that the plant will probably need some pinching to keep it inbounds. You should prune your Mandevillas after flowering so you can shape them properly. This is also a good moment to carefully train the twining stems. Don’t forget to tie up young plants at first. Mandevillas can be propagated by seeds or stem cuttings.
Mandevillas have beautiful and colorful flowers. To have your plant bloom, it’s important to provide a warm temperature. The plant will stall if the temperature stays below 65 degrees F, so it’s something you need to pay attention to.
When it comes to fertilizing, keep in mind that flowering forces plants to use up a lot of energy. Therefore, giving them a bit of fertilizer can be helpful. Choose a balanced fertilizer to keep the plant flowering for longer.