Mandevilla and dipladenia, magnificent sisters

Mandevilla – some species of which are called Dipladenia – are remarkable climbing shrub vines.

Main facts about Mandevilla and Dipladenia

NameMandevilla species
FamilyApocynceae or dogbane
Type – shrub, climbing vine

Height – 10 feet long or tall (3 meters)
Exposure – well-lit
Soil – well-drained

Flowering – June to October
Foliage – evergreen

Caring for both Mandevilla and Dipladenia is almost identical. From planting to pruning and including watering, they should give you magnificent flowers in summer!

Planting mandevilla and dipladenia

These plants can be grown outdoors, but they’re most often found indoors in pots.

Indeed, the most hardy varieties will just barely survive light frost. They will be happy to spend summer months outdoors, but must be brought inside for the winter in most areas.

Growing mandevilla and dipladenia in pots

When grown in containers, it is advised to repot every 1 or 2 years, in spring.

  • Indoors, is it best to place them near light, but not in direct sunlight.
  • Avoid placing this potted plant in excessively hot sunlight when on a terrace or balcony.
  • Refer to our guidelines on how to repot houseplants.

Outdoor growing of mandevilla and dipladenia

Temperatures of at least 68°F (20°C) are required for this plant to survive.

When growing directly in the ground, temperatures must be high in both summer and winter and planting is done in spring.

  • When planted directly in the ground, they will thrive in direct sunlight.
  • In places that are too cold, there is a slight chance that new sprouts will appear from the roots in spring.
  • It’s mostly grown as an annual in areas where it freezes in winter.

Pruning dipladenia and mandevilla

To boost flower-bearing, remove all wilted flowers regularly. This will trigger new blooms by reducing fruit formation.

  • It is best to prune lightly at the very beginning of spring to spur blooming.
  • For container growing, pruning can be done during repotting.

Caring for Mandevilla and Dipladenia indoors

Exposure and watering for Dipladenia and Mandevilla

Choose a very well-lit space for your flowering vines, but not in direct sunlight behind a window.

  • Avoid heat sources such as radiators.
  • Protect the plant from direct sunlight during the hotter hours if placed behind a window.

Water regularly but not too much, to avoid suffocating roots.

Finally, bring your growing Mandevilla vine outdoors from May to October to give it fresh air.

  • It’s best to provide a lattice that is firmly attached to the pot for the vine to climb up on.
  • Ensure that the container is sufficiently weighted down or it might tip over if the vine grows too large.

When potted, mandevilla and dipladenia need a lot of moisture and like being placed on a bed of constantly moist gravel or clay pebbles, since this recreates its native tropical environment.

Mandevilla and Dipladenia after flowering

The usual blooming season for these vines is from March to November.

After blooming, its is best to winterize your plant: place it in a cooler but well-lit room.

  • Ideal temperatures are around 68 to 70° F (20 to 21° C) in summer, and 50 to 60°F (10 to 15°C) in winter.

Learn more about Mandevilla and Dipladenia

White dipladenia or mandevilla flowers in a terra cotta pot with an opening to the side.Native to the tropical Americas and part of the same family as oleander, this shrub blooms abundantly over a long span of time with beautiful flowers.

Outdoors, these plants will have complementary behaviors:

  • Mandevilla does great near walls, lattices, trees or poles where its climbing abilities are highlighted.
  • Dipladenia, on the other hand, will excel in suspensions or elevated pots and garden boxes, from which they can dangle down.

They will grow best in greenhouses where moisture levels are high, so if you wish to grow them in apartments or indoors, spray their leaves often with soft water.

  • Mandevilla and dipladenia sap and plant parts are toxic when ingested and irritate skin when touched, so wear gloves or wash your hands after handling them.

How to tell Mandevilla and Dipladenia apart

Formerly thought to be a different species, Dipladenia has now been recognized to be a sub-set or group of sub-species of Mandevilla. Here are tips on Mandevilla vs Dipladenia:

  • Bearing – mandevilla tends to reach upwards, whereas dipladenia will fall over and crawl down. Dipladenia can hold a bush shape with no staking.
  • Shrub – dipladenia grows into more bushy, shrub-like shapes, and branches out more naturally than mandevilla. Mandevilla tends to grow further and longer and needs pinching to branch out.
  • Leaf shape – somewhat narrower on dipladenia compared to mandevilla. Deeper green on dipladenia
  • Flower size – smaller on dipladenia than on mandevilla
  • Bloom color – larger range of colors on dipladenia, lesser number of colors on mandevilla (more in the pink-red tones)

Diseases and common issues related to Dipladenia and Mandevilla

Leaves turn yellow when exposed to the cold or to lack of water.

  • Protect your dipladenia and mandevilla from drafts and regularly spray water on their leaves.

As for pests, indoors, you’ll only have to deal with scale insects and spider mites.

Smart tip about Mandevilla and Dipladenia.

Adding flower plant organic fertilizer will enhance blooming.

Read also


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Mandevilla on trunk by Jenni Konrad under © CC BY-NC 2.0
Terra cotta dipladenia by Cassiopée2010 under © CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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