The Q&A Archives: winter care

Question: How do I winter over a mandevilla plant? I am in zone 5, with cold winters.

Answer: Mandevilla is a tender plant that survives outdoors only in the mildest climates. If yours is in a container, you need only to bring it indoors when your weather begins to cool down. The best place to keep it indoors is in a sunny window. Mandevilla can be pruned down to about 3' without harm, but wait until it has acclimated to growing indoors before pruning it back. Wait until nighttime temperatures hover in the 50's then begin to help it become adjusted to living indoors by taking it inside during the night and taking it back outdoors during the day. Do this for about a week, leaving it inside for longer and longer periods of time until it is indoors 24 hours a day. Wait a few weeks and then prune it down to a manageable size if necessary. Mandevilla can grow to 12' as a vine, but it can be kept at about 3' with constant pinching and pruning. Since you'll be wintering your plant over each year, you'll probably want to keep it small. Under the right conditions of heat and light your Mandevilla will bloom indoors for you. Enjoy!

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