The Q&A Archives: mandevilla

Question: If I plant 6 Mandevilla plants along the garage wall will they grow to fill in like a hedge? Is this a good use of these beauties?

Answer: You didn't tell us your zip code or city so I can't predict whether or not mandevilla will grow year around for you. Known for its showy flowers, the genus Mandevilla includes plants that were formerly called Dipladenia. There are about 100 species of this tropical American woody vine. Most species overwinter only in the tropical South. Up North, they can be grown indoors. They can be brought indoors before the first freeze and treated as a houseplant during the winter months. In the spring, mandevilla can be returned outside after the last spring freeze or after the threat of freezing weather has passed. Mandevilla is great trellised in containers or in hanging baskets.

Indoors, mandevillas need curtain-filtered or bright indirect sunlight. Provide night temperatures of 60 to 65 ? F and day temperatures above 70 ? F. Plant in a mixture of equal parts peat moss, potting mix and builder?s sand. In spring and summer, feed every two weeks with a fertilizer high in phosphorus such as 10-20-10.
Outdoors, grow mandevillas in partial shade. They need rich, well-drained, sandy soil with humus added. Provide a frame, trellis or stake for support. Pinch young plants to induce bushiness.

Since 45 to 50 ? F is the minimum temperature that can be tolerated by mandevilla, plants should be moved indoors for the winter. Before bringing them indoors, examine them carefully for pests. Look under the leaves, in the leaf axils, and in every conceivable nook and cranny for insects and their eggs. Remove any diseased or dead leaves by hand. Insect-infested plants can be doused with a forceful spray of water to dislodge the pests, or you can use insecticidal soaps or other appropriate insecticides labelled for use on your plant. You may have to prune some of the plant to compensate for any root loss.

Move the plants to a lighted location where the temperature is above 45 to 50 ? F. Reduce the frequency of watering to coincide with the plants? rest periods induced by the cooler temperatures and reduced light.

In late winter or early spring before growth begins, prune by removing old, crowded stems and shortening others. Even if mandevilla is pruned almost to the ground, it will bloom the same summer on the new shoots, which develop from the base of the plants.

Hope this answers your question!

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