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Past Articles Library | How to Grow and Propagate a Mandevilla

Are you looking for something a little different to grow up a trellis or arbor?  If the answer is yes then the mandevilla is for you.  This plant is considered a tender perennial through USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9.  But if the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, one will need to provide some form of protection.

When starting out with a mandevilla, you will need to choose a location carefully.  First, you will need to find a sunny location.  This is very important since a mandevilla planted in an area that does not receive enough sun will be leggy with few blooms.

While this plant really is not picky as far as soil type, it does require a ground that is well draining and full of organic matter.  Even though this plant requires a well draining soil, it will not tolerate a dry soil for any extended amount of time.  In doing so, make sure this plant is placed near an easily accessible watering source.

The last requirement of this plant is some form of support.  This can come in any form that will support plant material.  To aid in training this vine to grow up a support, make sure to use only wire that is soft in nature.  This will prevent cutting into the vine.

Now that you have your location selected, the next step in this process is to prepare the chosen location.   To do this, one will need to loosen up the soil and incorporate a good amount of well seasoned compost.  Once that is done, dig a hole that is twice the width of the container that the mandevilla is in and the same height.  Prior to planting the vine, test the hole by placing the container inside.  If the height is correct, you are ready to move on to the planting step.

Planting a mandevilla requires one to first remove the plant from its container.  While there are two techniques for this process, one will need to cut away the container since most nursery raised mandevillas are grown up a short trellis or support. 

Once you have cut away the pot, remove the plant and tease the roots with your fingers.  Performing this step will allow the roots to grow outward instead of continuing to grow in the shape of the container.

After the plant is in the hole, fill in with removed soil and water in.  Next, add your support.  While it may be tempting to remove the present support or not add a new one, do not.  Trying to remove the present support will only result in tearing up the vine while not planning ahead for this plant’s growth will leave you scrambling for a support later on in the season. 

Do not get hung up on creating an elaborate support.  There is no need for anything fancy.  Due to the speed by which this vine grows, your support will be covered up in no time.  Instead, consider creating a basic form of support.  Some ideas include taking two stakes and stringing plastic mesh or hardware cloth between them or even just attaching a piece of chain link fence to a brick wall.

Once you have your chosen support up, make sure that it is in the ground deep enough.  The weight of this plant can easily pull out a trellis if it is not placed several inches into the soil. 

Mandevilla require a lot of water.  To make sure that your vine is getting enough, set up a rain gauge and monitor it.  The mandevilla requires one inch of rain a week and this moisture needs to saturate the soil two inches down.

This plant also requires a lot of phosphorus.  Do not know if your fertilizer is high in phosphorus?  Well, take a look at the numbers.  The middle number represents the amount of phosphorus in its formulation.  In doing so, a formulation of 5-15-5 will work since the middle number is higher than the others.  If you like to use an organic version, add bone meal to the soil every two weeks.  Regardless of which fertilizer you pick, make sure to water it in well. 

Mandevilla loves to be pruned and the more pruning you do the fuller the vine will be.  To do this, simply pinch off the end of the vine to the point of the next leaf.   This will cause the plant to send out side shoots from the original vine.   Also, deadheading the vine will encourage more blooms to be set. 

If you are growing the mandevilla in a location by which it is a tender perennial, prune it back by half in the late fall.

Looking to grow mandevilla but do not live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9 go ahead but either grow it as an annual or plant it in a pot.

The advantages of planting this vine in a pot are numerous.  First, you can have a plant that serves double duty and that is as a garden plant and houseplant.  Second, growing this vine in a container allows you to move it around the garden space unlike ground planted mandevillas.

To plant this vine in a container should be done in early spring.  The container you pick should be one size larger than the pot that the mandevilla is presently in.  It should also have a drainage hole.

Next, clean and sterilize the pot even if it is new.  This will prevent the spread of any plant diseases or pests.  To do this, requires one to scrub the container in warm, soapy water.  Once clean, rinse the container in clear water that has had one capful of bleach added.  Allow the pot to dry in the full sun for final sterilization.

After that is done, place drainage material in the bottom of the container and fill halfway up with an all-purpose potting soil mix with an addition of perlite.  Now, plant your vine in the container making sure to leave a space of one inch from the top.  This will give you some space when it comes to watering.

Once the vine has been planted, add your support. 

Once indoors, move your plant to a location that receives bright sunlight but is kept at a temperature between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.   While this plant requires a lot of water during the growing season, it only requires watering when the soil is dry during the fall and winter months. 

Another issue that will need to be addressed when growing mandevilla indoors is the humidity.  To address this plant’s tropical nature, make sure to mist it often and place it on a tray filled with pebbles and water.

When bring your mandevilla indoors, make sure to examine it carefully for pests.  The mandevilla is susceptible to problems such as red spider mites, scale, mealybugs, and white flies.

If you want to share your mandevilla or do not want to have to dig up the vine to overwinter it, take a cutting.  This plant is very easy to propagate and only requires a three inch piece of vine.  Once you have that sample, place it in a moist planting medium.  Keep this medium damp and in a few weeks you will have a new mandevilla.


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