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Mandevilla: Complete Planting, Growing, and Care Guide

Mandevilla Flowers

Mandevilla, also known as rocktrumpet, is a classic tropical vine and a great way to brighten up and add a pop of color to any sunny area in your garden. It’s native to Central and South America and is growing in popularity as more and more gardeners learn about their stunning blooms.

They feature showy trumpet-shaped five-petaled flowers, which usually come in shades of red, white, pink, or with occasional yellow throats. Their pleasant fragrance is especially attractive to pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Mandevilla vines are an especially popular patio plant that’s well-suited to containers. They’ve experienced a comeback in popularity in recent years, and breeding efforts to broaden the vine’s variety continue. Some species in the genus have smaller, more abundant blooms, while others have fewer, larger blooms.

This tender perennial can be grown outside all year long in frost-free climates, as an annual in colder climates, or as a houseplant from year to year when overwintered.

Although they can bloom all year in warm climates, they typically bloom in the summer and can last into the fall, with their ovate leaves typically having a lustrous green color. These fast-growing vines should be planted in mid-to-late spring when the temperature is consistently high and the risk of frost has passed.

Botanical Name: Mandevilla spp.

Common Name: Mandevilla, rocktrumpet

Family: Apocynaceae

Plant Type: Vine

Hardiness Zones: 10 – 11 (USDA)

Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun

Soil Type: Sandy, well-draining soil

Soil pH: 6.6 – 7.8 (Mildly acidic or alkaline)

Height: 3 to 10 feet

Spacing: 5 feet apart

Bloom Time: Summer, fall

Flower Color: Pink, white, red

Native Area: North America, Central America, South America

Girl with Mandevilla

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Caring for Mandevilla

  • Mandevilla vines bloom best in full sun with at least six hours of direct light on most days, but they can handle shade occasionally.
  • Grow your mandevilla plant in sandy, well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter.
  • Mandevilla species can tolerate moderate dryness while still blooming, unlike many other flowering plants.
  • These plants need warm temperatures and high humidity levels to thrive.
  • Feed Mandevilla plants every two weeks using a slow-release formula or phosphorus-rich liquid fertilizer to encourage blooming.

Mandevilla Plant Care

As long as their growing conditions are ideal, mandevilla plants are quite simple to care for. Plan to water your vine anytime the soil starts to dry up and feed it throughout the growing season. The vines flourish with a lot of light, warmth, and moisture.

Pinch back the stems of these vines in early spring if you want to encourage a bushier growth habit. It’s a good idea to give them a trellis or other structure they can climb around if you want them to grow naturally as vines.

The vines also look especially beautiful in hanging baskets as this showcases its trumpet-shaped flowers even more.

Light

Mandevilla prefers the sun but can take some shade. Generally, these vines grow and bloom best in full sun, which means they prefer getting at least six hours of direct light on most days. But in the middle of summer, they might even like to get out of the hot afternoon sun to prevent the foliage from scorching.

Growing Mandevilla vines in containers have the advantage of allowing you to move the plant out of direct sunlight as needed to prevent scorching the foliage.

Soil

Mandevilla vines require soil that is sandy, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. A decent potting mix combined with peat moss, sand, and leaf mold is an ideal mix for these tropical vines.

This plant prefers soil that is mildly acidic to neutral in pH, although it can also survive in soil that is slightly alkaline.

Water

The Mandevilla species can tolerate moderate dryness while still blooming, unlike many other flowering plants. Having said that, they prefer an even moisture level, so you should strive to keep the soil damp but not soggy.

Water the plant slowly to give the soil time to absorb the moisture. It’s also a good idea to consider spraying the leaves, which will also kill off any pests and increase the humidity around the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Warm temperatures and high humidity are needed for these plants to thrive.

For Mandevilla to grow outside, the temperature must be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Regularly spraying the plants will help maintain humidity levels if you live in a dry area.

Fertilizer

To encourage blooming, feed plants every two weeks using a slow-release formula or phosphorus-rich liquid fertilizer.

If you are overwintering indoors, stop fertilizing from fall through early spring.

Pruning

To maintain a neat and abundantly flowering plant, pruning mandevilla vines at least once per year is recommended. Mandevilla flowers on new growth, so pruning too late could result in cutting off potential buds. And so, the best time to prune the plant is in the winter or early spring before it begins to produce new growth.

Try not to cut more than one-third of the plant’s mass at a time as a general rule of thumb. Cut back any unhealthy or damaged branches, as well as any that are shaping the plant in a way you don’t like.

To do this, you should first water the plant well so that it is well-hydrated and won’t be stressed out any more by your trimming. Use clean, sharp pruners to cut down any vines to just above a set of leaves.

Types of Mandevilla

The Mandevilla genus contains more than 100 species. Here are the five most popular species for outdoor growing:

Red Riding Hood Mandevilla

Mandevilla Red Riding Hood

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

This species is also known as Brazilian jasmine or by its botanical name Mandevilla sanderi. It’s a fast-growing variety that can grow up to 15 feet tall and features large pink-red blooms on twining, woody stems.

White Mandevilla

White Mandevilla

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

This species is also commonly known by its botanical name Mandevilla boliviensis and is widely appreciated for its delicate, white flowers. It can reach a height of 3 to 10 feet and a width of 3 to 6 feet.

Chilean Jasmine

Mandevilla Laxa Flowers

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

This species is also known by its botanical name Mandevilla laxa. This Mandevilla species, which may grow up to 20 feet tall, produces masses of highly fragrant white blooms.

Pink Parfait Mandevilla

Pink Mandevilla

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

This mandevilla species, also known as Mandevilla x amabilis, features double pale-pink flowers that bloom all throughout the summer and the vines can grow up to 20 feet tall.

Alice Dupont Mandevilla

Mandevilla CV Alice Du Pont

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

This is a similar species to pink parfait, but instead of pale pink flowers, ‘Alice Dupont’ features large, bright pink blooms. It can also grow as long as 20 feet.

Growing Mandevillas as Annuals vs. Perennials

Growing mandevillas as annuals or perennials comes down to which USDA hardiness zone you’re growing them. These plants can be grown as perennials inside their USDA growth zones. However, gardeners outside of those zones frequently prefer to grow these vibrant vines as annuals, especially in containers.

When the outdoor temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should bring your mandevillas indoors so that they can continue to thrive as tender perennials even though you are growing them outside of their hardiness zones. As you bring your plant indoors, make sure to prune it so that it has time to rest.

When the soil feels dry to the touch, place the container in bright, indirect light and water it. Spray it with water or set it on a tray of pebbles filled with water to keep it moist. When the temperature rises above 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring, bring it back outside.

Oleander Mandevilla

Photo Credit: Dreamstime.

What’s the Difference Between Mandevilla and Dipladenia?

Mandevilla and Dipladenia are two tropical plants that are frequently mistaken for one another. Despite being closely related, they are not the same.

Dipladenia grows more like a bush, with smaller flowers that come in a wider range of colors, such as coral and apricot. Mandevilla has longer, more textured leaves than Dipladenia, which has smoother, shinier foliage.

Sometimes the two are crossed in breeding to create a new hybrid, with some newer Dipladenia kinds exhibiting vining features.

How to Plant and Grow Mandevilla

Site Preparation

Choose a location with adequate drainage and rich soil for growing outside. To help the blooms, amend the planting area with compost or other organic matter.

The site should receive ample sunlight, at least six hours of direct light on most days, but will benefit from some shade at the peak of summer.

How to Plant Mandevilla

Mandevilla can be planted outside in mid to late-spring, when there is no longer any chance of frost. You should hold off until the temperatures are at least 50 degrees F at night and 60 degrees F during the day.

Plant in a sunny location with rich soil and enough drainage. Loosen the soil in the area where you’ll be planting and add compost or other organic matter. Dig a hole that is a little bigger than the root ball and has the same depth.

Next, take the plant from its nursery container and, if necessary, loosen the roots. Plant it so that the top of the root ball is just slightly above the surrounding soil.

Backfill the hole with soil, tamping down lightly to eliminate air pockets, and then thoroughly water the area. Water consistently until the plant is established.

How to Propagate Mandevilla

The best way to incorporate mandevilla into your landscaping is to either purchase a plant from a nursery or propagate one from a cutting.

In the spring, take a cutting of a healthy, established ‘mother’ plant that has bloomed for at least one season. This should be done below a leaf node, which is the point where a leaf meets the stem. Then remove the removes and any buds it might have from the lower half of the cutting you’re using.

The cuttings should then be dipped in rooting hormone and planted in a pot that contains moist potting soil. To stabilize the stem, be sure to cover the cut end in the soil and firm the soil surrounding it.

Place the pot in an area that receives abundant filtered sunlight and has temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees.

Mist the cutting occasionally to keep the soil moist. Within a month, the cuttings should have taken root, at which point you can feed and care for the plant as usual.

How to Pot and Repot Mandevilla

A potted mandevilla is generally quite simple to care for. Use a container that is only slightly larger than the root ball when you first pot your Mandevilla plant.

You might get fewer flowers until the plant’s root system has grown larger if the container is too large. To help prevent root rot, make sure the pot has enough drainage holes.

But, if you notice roots beginning to protrude from the pot, it’s time to repot. Mandevillas grow quickly, so you’ll probably need to repot them every spring. Use just one pot size larger when doing so.

Carefully remove the root ball from the old container, place it in the new container, and fill the space around it with fresh potting mix, and water well. Continue to care for your mandevilla plant as per usual.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases for Mandevilla

Mandevilla plants don’t usually have serious disease problems, and deer and rabbits usually don’t bother them.

Unfortunately, they may attract pests including red spider mites, whiteflies, scale insects, and aphids. In such cases, you might spot some small insects moving about on your plants, as well as damage and discoloration on the leaves.

If you have an infestation, use insecticidal soap or a horticultural oil like neem oil on a regular basis until all signs of infection have disappeared. Use our pest guides to identify which pest may be infesting your mandevilla plant and follow the steps to get rid of them effectively.

 

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