The Q&A Archives: Mandevilla

Question: I have successfully grown Mandevilla for the past two years as annuals on trellises. When I emptied the pots this year as part of my preparations for winter, I found large tubers on the Mandevilla roots. Can these tubers be planted next spring to produce new Mandevilla plants, and if so, how should they be stored over the winter?

Answer: Since you have already unpotted it, I think you will want to put it back into a pot! If you have the mandevilla growing as a potted plant, then you can certainly keep it from year to year with very little effort. Here's what you would normally do: First you need to check it all over for pests and then gradually begin acclimating it to the lower light levels it will have indoors. Trim it back as needed to either disengage it from a trellis and/or make it fit indoors. Move it gradually to a shadier location but do not leave it outside when temperatures drop below about fifty (if you want it to keep blooming indoors). Then move it indoors to the sunniest spot you have. Keep it out of drafts and keep the humidity around it high if possible. Expect some yellowing of leaves in protest of the move. Reduce watering and fertilizing as the plant's growth slows. In spring, reverse the process to reacclimate it to the outdoors. You might also repot it in the spring and possibly trim it back a bit in preparation for the coming growth spurt outdoors.

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