Mandevilla X Amabilis - Knowledgebase Question

Mequon, WI
Question by armund
October 7, 2002
I have a Mandevilla vine in a pot on my patio. It has a 3 foot trellis in the pot. Over the summer the plant has grown past 10 feet up the patio wall with prolific flowering. I want to move it inside for the winter to remove back out to the patio in the spring. Will it survive if I cut the vines at the 3 foot mark (top of trellis) and then move the pot indoors? It is still flowering, but a frost is soon to come and I want to move it in before that. Will it flower all winter or start anew in the spring. What care should I give it during the winter indoors?


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Answer from NGA
October 7, 2002

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These plants are not winter hardy in cold winter areas such as yours. They can be treated as annuals and replaced each year, or you can try to overwinter them indoors. Ideally, they would be moved to a heated and sunny bright greenhouse.

If you want to keep them blooming as houseplants, they need to be brought indoors before the nights get too cold, say consistently below 55 degrees or so. Put them in a very bright location and keep watered and fertilized. They will usually stop blooming if the location is not bright enough or if they are exposed to too much cold before coming indoors.

Alternatively, you can simply overwinter them indoors in a semi dormant state, leaving them outside until nights are in the mid-40's and then cut them back, bring them into a cool but bright room, water them just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely, and stop fertilizing for the winter. In spring when they try to grow again, water more and feed them and keep them in the brightest light as best you can.

Yet another method is to leave them out later in the season as above, then place them in a cool location that is dark such as a basement or attached garage and hope they can survive; in this case they would be watered very little and eventually cut back hard and brought out into the light, and fed and watered normally again, in early spring.

The switch from outdoors to indoors and vice versa should be done gradually to avoid shocking the plant and allow it time to adjust. Be sure to check it carefully for pests before you bring it inside. Some gardeners will wash the plant thoroughly and possibly treat it with insecticidal soap once or twice about a week apart just to be sure it is clean, once indoors it can be tough to control any pesky little hitchhikers.

In all cases they would need to be gradually reacclimated to being outside next spring and summer. The switch from outdoors to indoors and vice versa should be done gradually to avoid shocking the plant and allow it time to adjust. Be sure to check it carefully for pests before you bring it inside. Some gardeners will wash the plant thoroughly and possibly treat it with insecticidal soap once or twice about a week apart just to be sure it is clean, once indoors it can be tough to control any pesky little hitchhikers. Good luck with your mandevilla!

It takes some experimentation to locate the most ideal conditions depending on the possibilities you have in your home. I hope it works out for you.

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