The Q&A Archives: Mandevilla: Cutting Back For Winter Domancy

Question: I have two huge hanging mandevilla plants on my back deck that I will have to bring in for the winter. I was wondering if it would be safe to cut back the vines. Would they grow back next summer? Would this encourage new growth? or would this possibly shock the plants and they not survive the winter? They are currently large enough to cover a trellis, and too big to bring indoors. I would hate to lose them over the winter.

Answer: Mandevilla is definitely a tropical plant outdoors, but a lovely greenhouse or houseplant in colder winter areas. It isn't necessary to cut the plants completely back, just enough to make them fit wherever you're going to keep them indoors. Be sure to make the change from outside to inside a gradual one, and start by bringing them indoors only at night, allowing them to remain indoors for longer and longer periods of time. Within a week to 10 days, your plants should be acclimated to an indoor environment. Mandevilla can grow to ten feet, so you need lots of room indoors. It should be happy with temperatures between 65F - 70F indoors, bright light but not direct sunlight, ample water spring and summer, little water in the winter, lots of humidity - so mist the leaves every few days - especially when flower buds form.

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