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Mandevilla and dipladenia, magnificent sisters

White mandevilla or dipladenia flowers against a gray trunk.

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

Care 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. Planting is in spring.

  • When growing 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 air moisture. It likes being placed on a bed of constantly moist gravel or clay pebbles. This recreates its moist, 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

Dipladenia mandevillaNative 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 truly shine.
  • 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.

Read also:

Smart tip about Mandevilla and Dipladenia.

Adding flower plant organic fertilizer will enhance blooming. Make your own fertilizer from weeds!

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-NC 2.0: Jenni Konrad
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0: Marie-France Sugier
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Your reactions
  • Victoria Shores wrote on 3 June 2024 at 12 h 24 min

    very interesting
    Thank You

  • Lesley wrote on 12 May 2023 at 0 h 37 min

    A neighbor put one on my steps 2 yrs. ago. I lost the tag but believe it’s a dipladenia something or other. I live in New England But the plant was so pretty, I kept it in the kitchen over the winter. It bloomed like crazy last summer!! My deck is in the sun all day and it flourished. I’ve just put it back outside but I think I should repot it. The soil is hard (although it absorbs water) and the green is showing. The stems near the base are woody. My secret that I discovered last yr. (and I used to have a house with a garden) was worm castings and club soda. It worked on all my hanging plants.
    My question is that if I repot it, what kind of soil do I use? I think I will divide it into 2 pots. I’m delighted that I found this site – I’ve been trying to identify it!

  • Sheila Smith wrote on 7 May 2023 at 20 h 47 min

    Most all of the nurseries in my area have dipladenia, 18″ tall. Not what I want. How come they don’t offer the Mandvilla that grows 10-12″ tall? It is magnificent when mid summer arrives. Just keeps winding around the stakes or trellis’.

    • Gaspard wrote on 12 May 2023 at 12 h 54 min

      Well, the reason behind it is twofold. On one hand, customers often don’t really know what they want when they come to a nursery, so they take whatever looks nice without much fuss – and on the other hand, nurseries can also only rely on what their own suppliers give them. And major suppliers often prefer to push only a few types of flowers instead of many, because it makes marketing campaigns much more effective. So all in all the mass-market system doesn’t push for more diversity, which is why you’ll often find just the one.

      I agree that mandevilla looks great! Maybe you know of someone who has one, they’re quite easy to reproduce from cuttings.

  • Rekha wrote on 26 December 2021 at 21 h 55 min

    I live in Florida .I have Dipladenia which did very well thru out summer .I don’t know what to do during winter months . Would they flowers again in spring.

    • Gaspard wrote on 28 December 2021 at 8 h 10 min

      Hi Rekha, it should be able to survive, on the condition you try to protect it somewhat to make sure. It would only need protection when the temperature drops to colder than 50°F (10°Celsius). That’s not so often in Florida, but still it might happen. Usually, on those days, it should be enough to just cover the plant with a special plant winter jacket, or, much simpler, winterizing fleece. This winterizing fleece is basically a type of insulator that you wrap around the plant loosely and tie so it doesn’t fly off with the wind. You can find it in garden stores. If it’s in a pot, wrap the entire pot up with the stem and rest of the vine. You can also pack the jacket or fleece with hay for extra protection.

      In any case, it helps to spread mulch around the foot of the plant to protect the roots – that way, if ever too many stems die off, it can still sprout back from the stump.

      These three steps (mulch, fleece/jacket and hay) should help you shave about 10°F off your “coldest” temperature. Since Florida doesn’t often get much freezing, your dipladenia will be safe for this season!

      Remember to open the fleece up around once a week if possible, on warmer days, to let fresh air circulate. Check out more on how to winterize your plants here.

  • Connie Bonnici wrote on 5 October 2021 at 17 h 03 min

    The leaves of my Dipladenia are becoming small. What could be the reason?

    • Gaspard wrote on 6 October 2021 at 3 h 02 min

      Hello Connie, it’s probably due to the fact that the soil nutrients are depleted. Low levels of nutrients tend to lead to smaller leaves, smaller flowers and less vigor overall. If it’s in a pot, that’s perfectly understandable, since the only nutrients it gets is what you’re giving it. Try giving it some flower plant fertilizer. If it’s outdoors, perhaps the soil around the plant is getting compacted, due to people trodding around it for instance. It would help to aerate the soil, and the best way to do this is to let nature do it: add plant mulch around the stem, and as it breaks down, worms will come burrow around, spreading and producing nutrients. An all-out winner!

  • Lois wrote on 12 October 2020 at 19 h 49 min

    I want to bring my dipladenia inside for winter. How drastic should I prune?

    • Gaspard wrote on 13 October 2020 at 17 h 04 min

      It can be quite drastic if you need it to be, the Dipladenia will survive even hard pruning. It thus mostly depends on how much space you’ve got inside for it. Usually, cutting back to one or two feet (30 to 60 cm) in height and about one foot and a half in diameter (45 cm) is fine. After a few weeks of adjusting, you should start seeing new shoots, but growth is very slow during the winter season.

  • Megan wrote on 21 June 2020 at 15 h 06 min

    Hi. I recently got a dipladenia and I would like to winterize it by bringing in the house as I live in Canada. Its june here and it’s in a pot in my back porch and doing great. I don’t want to lose this plant to my harsh winter. How would I get my plant ready to bring in the house before frost.

    • Gaspard wrote on 22 June 2020 at 8 h 23 min

      Hello Megan, the threshold for bringing the plant indoors is when temperatures drop to 50°F or 10°C. Any lower and leaves will start taking a hit. So first of all, keep an eye on average night temperatures with your local weather station.

      In the house, try to find a spot with lots of light but not direct sunlight. The main enemy of dipladenia in a house is the dryness of the air. Do all you can to increase moisture around it. It helps to have a lean-in or a winter garden.

      To make the transition easier, you can prune your dipladenia somewhat before moving it. That way it’ll have an easier time providing leaves with nutrients and water because there are less of them. Here are more tips specifically on caring for dipladenia indoors.

      You might also find this article interesting, it’s about moving a Stephanotis vine indoors and back out again. Like Dipladenia, it’s a vine that can’t take the cold.

  • Nancy Carey wrote on 17 October 2019 at 16 h 29 min

    Dipladenia and Mandevilla

    Question about caring for these plants inside in the winter in cold climate – Vermont

    • Gaspard wrote on 22 June 2020 at 8 h 30 min

      Goodness me, I missed your question a year ago, I hope I can redeem myself! I’m hoping you succeeded in keeping your dipladenia in good shape over the winter. I just answered a similar question by Megan, the key takeaway is to increase moisture around your plant and giving it a light pruning before taking it in.

  • Beth Simmons wrote on 8 June 2019 at 20 h 24 min

    My dipladenia leaves are turning brown. It is in a container outside in Arizona and temps are now 100. Not sure if watering too much or too little.

    • Gaspard Lorthiois wrote on 9 June 2019 at 14 h 51 min

      Hi Beth! Well, heat as such isn’t the problem, since dipladenia is native to the tropics.

      About watering too much or too little: if your soil and container drains well (as in, water flows out the bottom very easily when you water from the top), you can water all you like, no risk of root rot. In hot weather, you might want to water in passing in the morning and in the evening.

      Signs of watering too much are:
      – roots are slimy or dark if you pull the root ball out
      – clear musty, mushroomy smell that borders on fetid/stinky
      – water that never drains out (no exit hole provided or hole clogged)
      – water that does drain out is foul-smelling
      All these are signs of root rot. If any excess water drains well and is clear apart from the odd piece of dirt, you’re doing ok.

      Second point: tap water can cause problems, its always better to use rainwater. Tap water has several inconvenients but they can be reduced:
      – cold shock, water temperature is much colder than the air and ground temperature.
      – chemical sterilizers, chlorine that protects us from infections are bad for soil life.
      – hardness, minerals in the water accumulate in the soil and interfere with root activity.

      Hardness you can’t make better, but for the cold and chemicals, the solution is simple: refill your watering can immediately after watering and let it sit. Temperature will adjust and chemicals will evaporate naturally.

      There are more details on watering in an article specific to dipladenia