How to grow and care for mandevilla plants
With its glossy green leaves and bright trumpet-shaped flowers, the mandevilla plant is a stunning, low-maintenance option for endless summer color. This tropical plant has showy clusters of flowers in shades of white, pink, red, yellow and apricot that continue to grow and produce more flowers.
Native to Brazil, mandevilla is right at home on a sunny patio, where it will provide color all season long from early summer to the first frost. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and bees, so it’s a great choice if you’re planning a pollinator-friendly garden. Deer tend to leave them alone, so plant them in containers and landscaped plantings even if Bambi frequently comes to your garden.
Although mandevilla is usually treated as an annual, it can be a perennial in warm climates, such as USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. In cooler climates, you can bring them indoors in the fall to preserve them for the following spring.
Most mandevilla species are climbers and vines, similar to bougainvillea, although new hybrids have been developed to take on a denser, more compact form. These small plants, sometimes classified as dipladenia, look stunning when scattered along the edges of mixed plantings or hanging baskets. Read on to learn more about how to plant, grow, and care for tropical mandevilla.
How and when to plant mandevilla
You can grow mandevilla in pots or in landscape beds. They like well-drained soil, so if you have heavy clay soil in your garden, plant them in containers instead. Mandevilla species climb themselves quickly and easily up a trellis. Simply place the prop in the pot at planting time so it has a place to climb right away.
Where to grow mandevilla?
Mandevilla likes to be in a location that gets full sun, which is six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. The only exception is if you live in a very hot climate; In this case, you will benefit from a little afternoon shade.
How to care for a mandevilla plant
Mandevilla needs full sun, which is six or more hours of direct sunlight, otherwise it will not bloom well. In hot climates, it prefers some afternoon shade. In cold climates, it can handle all-day sun.
Soil and water
It is very easy to care for your mandevilla, although you need to make sure you water it constantly. It prefers to be kept slightly damp, although not wet. Pots tend to dry out faster than planting beds because moisture evaporates more quickly, so check the pots daily, especially during hot, dry periods.
Temperature and humidity
Mandevilla plants like tropical conditions, so temperatures in the 60s to mid-90s are fine. It likes a lot of humidity, which is why it sometimes struggles if you try to overwinter indoors (the low humidity levels in our homes in winter are tough on many tropical plants).
To keep your mandevilla blooming vigorously, feed it with any general-purpose fertilizer regularly, according to package instructions. The extended granular type is ideal.
It’s not absolutely necessary to prune your mandevilla, but occasional pruning can help keep your plant looking full and leafy. Cut cuttings wherever your plant becomes leggy or unruly. Pruning also encourages branching and increased shoots. Just be sure to wear gloves because the milky sap can irritate some people’s skin.
How to Beat a Mandevilla Plant
In warm climates, mandevilla is a perennial. Everywhere else, it is usually treated as an annual. However, if you’re feeling ambitious (or simply don’t want to give up your gorgeous plant when temperatures start to drop), you can bring it indoors for the winter.
Now, we’re not going to lie: this can be a little messy because, like other tropical plants, mandevilla won’t like the low light and humidity levels inside your home and will start shedding its leaves and buds profusely. However, if you give it bright, indirect light, it should rebound within a few weeks.
Mandevilla probably won’t thrive inside your home, but come spring, when temperatures are always in the 50s, you can move it back outside to a sunny location. If it looks a little shaggy, cut it back until it almost reaches the soil. New shoots should develop at the base.
If overwintering your mandeville sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry. You can simply treat them like annuals since these plants are widely available and generally not very expensive. Just buy yourself a new one next year.
How to Propagate Mandevilla Plant
It is easier to propagate mandevilla from cuttings. Cut a piece a few inches long from the limbs or side buds. Remove the leaves, dip them in rooting powder, then plant the cutting in potting soil filled with fresh potting mix. Place the pot in bright light, and keep the soil slightly moist.
Mandevilla hybrid sun canopy apricot
Mandevilla Giant Pink Hybrid Parasol
Mandevilla Original Sunbeam Hybrid Umbrella
Coral Orange Sunrise Dipladenia
Mandevilla Giant White Hybrid Parasol
Mandevilla Hybrid Sun Umbrella Giant Red Emperor
Mandevilla Sun Parasol Stars and Stripes
Frequently asked questions
Can I grow mandevilla indoors?
If you have a bright, sunny window or use an LED grow light, you can grow mandevilla indoors during the winter. However, because the light is much less intense indoors than outside, you shouldn’t expect your plant to grow as vigorously indoors as it does outdoors.
When you bring it over for the winter, it will also drop some (or even most!) of its leaves. This should eventually settle and your plant will remain standing for the winter months. It may not look great, and it probably won’t bloom. But if you can get it through the winter, it should rebound in the spring when you put it back outside after temperatures are consistently in the 50s and above.
Make sure to acclimate the plant to the high light levels outside by placing it in full sun for an hour or so and then gradually increasing the time over a week or two so the foliage does not burn. Remember, it’s not used to intense sunlight after spending the winter indoors, so take it slowly when reintroducing it to your garden.
Does Mandevilla need a trellis?
It depends! Most varieties are climbing vines, so you’ll need some sort of support for climbing, such as a trellis or other structure. It should mostly climb on its own, but you can redirect the vines to the trellis if they seem a little unruly and try to grab onto nearby plants or other structures you don’t want.
Shrub species do not require trellis because they form a compact form.
Does mandevilla bloom all summer?
Yes, mandevilla produces flowers from the beginning of summer until temperatures drop with the first frost.
What is the difference between dipladenia and mandevilla plants?
Dipladenia is the name of some of the more shrubby mandevilla varieties that grow well in planters or hanging baskets. They are related plants with slight differences in foliage and flowers. New hybrids that combine both plants have also been introduced.
Arricca Elin SanSone writes about health and lifestyle topics in the areas of prevention, rural life, women’s day and more. She is passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.