The Q&A Archives: Mandavilla

Question: I've two potted Mandavillas hibernating in my basement.I have been given conflicting directions on when to set them in the daylight, whether or not to trim back long, pale green shoots, when to step up watering and feeding, and when to start placing them in the sun outside. I know I'll have to bring them in if night temps. drop below 55 degrees. These potted vines were show-stoppers on my deck last summer, they climbed 6ft.up their lattice. This summer I'm hoping to get them to go up over thetop, onto the trellis. So,they need a healthy start. We've had a very mild winter and spring is comming early. <br><br>Bradfords, Cherries, Forcythias, and many other flowering trees and shrubs are now loaded with fat buds. Tulips and daffodills are up four inches or more!<br>

Answer: Even though it's tempting to get a jump on the growing season, I'd hold off on setting them outdoors--unless it's really easy to bring them in and out. Early spring brings such changeable weather, so I'm afraid you'd be moving them around a lot.<br><br>I would cut the weak new growth back to to the main vine, to encourage stronger shoots to form. Is there a sunny window you could set them in, until the weather settles? <br><br>As soon as you bring the plants up into the daylight, begin increasing watering. Once you see some healthy growth, begin feeding with a dilute balanced fertilizer.<br><br>One caution--take some time to acclimate the plant to outdoor conditions. Set it outdoors for a hour or two the first few days, longer on subsequent days, until you're leaving them out all day. You don't want to shock the plant with strong sunshine.

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