The Q&A Archives: Mandevilla Care

Question: I have floor to ceiling windows in a southern exposure. Before the frost last fall, I brought in my blooming mandavilla. This winter I have seen it decline even with plenty of sun--though only 8 hours here in winter. How do I bring it back to health? Tropical plants in Maine are a luxury and I want to keep it.

Answer: Large flowers appear on your Mandevilla (Dipladenia) naturally in the summertime. It is to be expected that it will stop flowering and try to catch its breath when it is cooler, and there is less light during the winter season. Late winter is also the time that you can prune it back a bit in order to maintain it as a bush.<br><br>In the winter it should be kept a bit drier, although it is good to mist it regularly. Misting should happen all year long, especially when it is putting out buds and flowers. I would repot your plant, and prune back leggy growth. You can prune it back quite severely, and it will sprout from the roots. <br><br>Starting now, begin to fertilize with a dilute liquid fertilizer, and continue to do so until early fall. I hope this helps!

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