The Q&A Archives: Mandevilla splendens

Question: I have a Mandevilla plant that bloomed last year. I put it in the house for the winter and trimmed it this spring and put it back on the deck. It would not produce any flowers. I then cut it back to the root and it started growing leaves again. Still no flowers. What do I need to do to produce flowers on this plant?

Answer: There may be several contributing factors to why your plant won't bloom. These plants need plenty of sun and very rich soil and ample water in order to grow their best. They also need plenty of root run area as they grow larger. I suspect that the potting soil has become depleted over time. You might see if you need to repot yours into a larger pot or consider (next spring) cutting it back, root pruning, and repotting into the same pot using fresh potting soil. Ideally, this would be done annually in early spring before it launches into its summer growth spurt during its outdoor vacation. It is also possible that the plant is still rebuilding its strength before it blooms -- a winter indoors is always a bit stressful for sunloving tropicals -- and as a result they are somewhat seasonal in their blooming. In the meantime, maximize the light it receives, avoid allowing it to be water stressed, and continue fertilizing according to the label instructions for maximum bloom. You might also try a top dressing of compost or a dose or two of compost tea for good measure.

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