The Q&A Archives: Mandevilla Dormancy

Question: I've read the answers to questions about weathering over mandevilla vines (Alice Dupont). I would like to know if it's possible to make the plant go into dormancy over the winter thereby eliminating the need to water it and provide light.

Answer: In my experience, it is almost possible. By that I mean the plant can survive in near dormancy for several months. I have kept it outdoors as late in the season as possible, allowing it to slow down to nearly non-growth with nights in the thirties. As the temperatures cool, and growth slows, the plant needs less and less water. Then I began bringing it in at night and setting it back out again when the thermometer hit forty. Then, about Thanksgiving (when days are no longer in the forties) , I cut it off short and set it in a cool (not freezing) dark basement until late January (no watering but the soil barely damper than bone dry) when it finally tried to leaf out. At that point, I brought it back up into a cool sunroom with very bright light and began setting it outside during the day as soon as daytime temperatures were again in the mid forties. It was a lot of work. But it is a beautiful plant.

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