How To Take Care of Mandevilla
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Are you thinking about adding more plants to your collection? The Mandevilla plant will be a stunning addition if you're keen to give your huge garden or small patio a lush tropical vibe. Its bright pink flowers and shiny green leaves will bring more colors and life to your outdoors during summertime. This tropical vine will also make a great indoor houseplant if taken care of in proper conditions.
Different plants require different care. And the best thing about Mandevilla is that they're pretty low-maintenance. Pests or fungi rarely infested the plants. So, even if you're not an expert gardener, you can grow this brightly colored houseplant. However, if you want to enjoy its bountiful blooms all year-round, you must know the specific care requirements for a Mandevilla plant.
Quick Mandevilla Care Guide
USDA Hardiness Zone
What Is a Mandevilla Plant?
Native to Central and South America, Mandevilla plants are flowering vines that thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. Often called Chilean jasmine or rock trumpet, the Mandevilla plant has become popular and beloved since it appeared in European and American gardens due to its low maintenance, fast-growing, and disease-and-pest resistant characteristics. They can be confused with Dipladenias which belong to Mandevilla species.
The Mandevilla plant has wide varieties and comes in various shades and sizes. But, in general, you can find its five-petal flowers with their intense fragrance in different hues of pink, red, and white, sometimes with yellow throats.
When planted in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, the largest varieties of Mandevilla vines can grow fast, up to 20-feet long. If you don't live within those zones or in areas that freeze, you can grow them as an annual or an indoor houseplant in hanging baskets.
With its twining stems, glossy bright green foliage, and trumpet-shaped blooms, growing a Mandevilla plant is the perfect way to elevate color in your home landscape. But what should you do to ensure it grows and blooms healthily? Discover how by reading on.
How To Grow Mandevilla Plants
Find the Best Location
As tropical flowering vines, the Mandevilla plant doesn't grow well in cool conditions. They need direct sunlight or at least six hours a day of indirect light to grow and flower best.
If you choose to plant it outdoors, it's best to wait until warm weather is well-established. Note that the Mandevilla vines can burn if placed in hot, direct sun for extended periods. Thus, they will also appreciate and tolerate partial shade to avoid getting scorched, especially at the peak of summer.
Meanwhile, consider growing a Mandevilla plant inside if you live in colder climates. Just place it in high-light or sunny spots, near the window or patio door. You can also use a shop light or plant light to keep the vines happy. Regarding location, always remember that the type of light the Mandevilla plant receives is crucial to its growth.
Use the Right Pot and Soil
Mandevilla vines can tolerate a wide variety of soils, as long as they are well-draining soil. But carefully considering the soil it prefers will help the plant grow with stunning blossoms. Specifically, a Mandevilla plant likes a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH.
If you want to lay the proper foundation for Mandevilla vines, choose an ideal potting mix, including peat moss, sand, and leaf mold. Adding fine gravel or builder's sand is a good soil mix for lightness and better aeration.
You can directly plant the Mandevilla in the ground. They can reach their maximum height when planted as ground cover. Just make sure to place it in an area that's not overgrown with other vegetation. But it's worth noting that Mandevilla plants are not cold-durable and can get burned by too much direct sunlight.
This is the benefit of growing them in portable containers. If you plant and grow them in a pot or hanging basket, you can quickly move them to the most suitable spot. Just be sure it comes with a drainage hole in the bottom since Mandevilla is vulnerable to root rot in soggy and poorly drained conditions.
Also, choose a slightly wider pot to give it more room to grow. But don't give it a deeper one as it can interfere with the production of Mandevilla flowers. A 12–14-inch container will work best for this type of houseplant.
Water the Plant Appropriately
Mandevilla plants can tolerate some dryness, unlike many flowering vines, while continuing to produce blossoms. But they also need a consistent moisture level, so keeping the soil from drying out entirely between waterings is crucial. Underwatered Mandevilla will have yellowish-green and crispy leaves.
You might need to give more attention to those potted plants as they can get dehydrated quickly. Consider watering them early in the morning and another in the afternoon if necessary. However, Mandevilla species like damp soil and don't grow well with too much water and moisture. Overwatering can choke the roots and cause the early death of your Mandevilla.
In watering Mandevilla plants, the key is to keep the soil moist but not thoroughly drenched. You can achieve this by watering the plant slowly to give the soil enough time to absorb the moisture. Although it's generally sufficient to water the Mandevilla plant one or two times a week, it's best to check the soil if it's dry enough for watering.
Maintain the Ideal Temperature and Humidity
Mandevilla species cannot withstand temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit like other tropical plants. The ideal temperature for these flowering vines should be at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
In a dry climate, you can enjoy Mandevilla outside and cover them when the temperature drops. However, if you live in zones with colder temperatures for extended periods, you must protect and bring your Mandevilla plant indoors, especially during winter.
Mandevilla vines require an adequate humidity level, typically between 60–80 percent. It would be best never to let the humidity level fall below 50 percent. If it does, you can increase it by placing a bowl at room temperature next to your Mandevilla plant. But, to better maintain a humid environment and keep it from drying out, use a cool-mist room humidifier or place the Mandevilla plant pot on a humidity tray.
Feed the Plant With Proper Fertilizer
Feeding Mandevilla plants is essential for their growth and blossom production. While this houseplant is a moderate feeder, it requires a steady stream of nutrients during the growing season. They respond well to a slow-release, balanced fertilizer every two weeks in early spring and summer.
Mixing some compost into the potting soil will also enhance the nutrition levels necessary for the plant to grow and flower. But, if you wish to promote more blooms, apply a high phosphorus liquid fertilizer to your Mandevilla plant as it helps support root development and flowering. Typically, its flowers will flourish for the whole of summer and autumn.
Like other flowering vines, Mandevilla species will be dormant in winter, so you must stop applying fertilizer. As they're not actively growing, anything you give them during this period will end up resting in the soil, eventually burning their roots and killing the plant.
Provide the Necessary Support
As flowering vines, Mandevilla may require some support to climb on and thrive as best as possible. You can use a simple trellis, arbor, or pergola to make the Mandevilla vines grow high. Mandevilla plants grow straight up and get as tall and fast as possible by twining up their new growth around a structure.
Remember that the quicker and higher a vine grows, the sooner it gets more light. With a flat wall, Mandevilla vines won't be able to grow up high and beautifully since there's nothing to climb and wrap around.
Image Source: Pixabay
Tips for Taking Care of Mandevilla Plants
As with any other plant, you must take good care of your Mandevilla vines. Providing them with the proper environmental conditions is the best thing you can do to look after your Mandevilla plant. But for optimal results, here are some additional Mandevilla care tips you might want to consider all year-round.
Tip 1: Winterize the Mandevilla Vines
If you live in cooler zones, it's best to grow the Mandevilla vines in a container. This way, you can overwinter the plant when cold weather arrives. You can let the Mandevilla plant go completely dormant and bring it back in the springtime. However, ensure to prune it back to 8 to 12 inches and put the Mandevilla in a dark area with the ideal temperature and humidity level.
Tip 2: Check the Plant Moisture
Overwatering and underwatering are common problems when caring for Mandevilla and other tropical plants. This is why it's always a good idea to check the plant moisture to ensure that it's not completely dried out or already needs some watering.
You can use your index finger to examine the top half-inch of soil for dampness. As a rule of thumb, if the soil feels dry, it's time to water the plant. However, if the top half-inch is still damp or moist, watering it won't be necessary.
Tip 3: Prune in Late Winter or Early Fall
Pruning is an essential part of a Mandevilla or any plant care routine. But knowing when to do it is the key to ensuring the continued health and vibrant blooms for your Mandevilla vines. The best time to do the pruning is in late winter or early fall before they begin to produce new growth.
As prolific growers, you can cut back Mandevilla plants during their growing season. But pruning new growth vigorously will result in fewer production of Mandevilla flowers. Just prune old growth or branches that are getting unmanageable down to the ground. This will encourage the new development of strong stems when spring comes, making the Mandevilla grow vines bushier.
Tip 4: Repot During Springtime
Occasional repotting is crucial to keep the Mandevilla plants healthy as it will give them ample space to grow their roots. As flowering vines, they often don't like to be pot-bound. To ensure they thrive well, repot them every year or two, and springtime is the best period. But, take note that if you didn't prune it last year, you should wait until fall, then prune and repot simultaneously.
Tip 5: Monitor Any Signs of Pests and Diseases
Although Mandevilla vines are known to be tough, they're not entirely unsusceptible to pests and diseases. If you don't pay attention, a few pest insects can cause real problems to your Mandevilla plant.
Monitor any signs of pests and diseases, so you can treat them as soon as possible. Mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites are the most common Mandevilla pests. But they're easy to treat if you catch these pests early.
If you notice any signs of pest infestations, separate the infected plant and spray it with neem oil or wash it with insecticidal soap. However, note that some bugs often remain well-hidden, so you must always keep an eye on them.
Tip 6: Give Love and Proper Attention
Like any other plant, what Mandevilla needs the most is daily love and proper attention. The environmental conditions they require are simple to do and follow. But they can quickly deteriorate if you don't care and love the plants enough.
Remember that plants are living creatures. And, like humans, they are physically receptive to their environment, so they both need love and a supportive home to thrive best.
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The Mandevilla plant is becoming an increasingly popular patio plant. If you want to purchase this plant or learn more about it, Neverland is the place to go.
FAQs on Mandevilla Care
Can Mandevilla plants take full sun?
Mandevilla plants need full sun to grow well. However, too much sun and excessive heat for more extended periods can burn the leaves and result in a brown and wrinkled appearance.
Can Mandevilla plants survive winter?
Mandevilla species can't tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees. But they can survive winter by giving them extra care and protection. For example, bring the plant inside to protect it from cold breezes during winter.
Is Mandevilla poisonous to animals?
Mandevilla plants have low toxicity levels. Though they don't cause severe poisoning, it's best to keep your children and pets away from these flowering vines.
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