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Mandevilla, a climber that bears stunning flowers

Pink mandevilla vine twining up a black wrought iron fence.

Mandevilla is a remarkable vine. It climbs very high and bears flowers prolifically.

Major Mandevilla facts

NameMandevilla species
FamilyApocynceae or dogbane
Type – shrub, climbing vine

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

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – June to October

Caring for this plant, from planting to pruning and including watering, should give you magnificent flowers in summer. Follow our advice to get nice mandevilla blooms.

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Planting mandevilla

Mandevillas are usually grown indoors in our temperate climates, even if they do well outdoors in summer, both in in pots and directly in the ground.

Growing potted mandevilla

If potted, it is advised to re-pot every 1 or 2 years, preferably in spring.

Pots provided upon purchase quickly become too small: re-pot your mandevillas as soon as their blooming is over.

  • 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.

Growing mandevillas outdoors

Red mandevillaMandevillas are native to South America and therefore require temperatures of at least 68°F (20°C) to thrive.

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

  • Mandevilla planted directly in the ground copes well with direct sunlight.

Pruning mandevilla

To boost flower-bearing, remove mandevilla wilted flowers regularly (deadheading).

  • It is best to prune lightly at the very beginning of spring to spur blooming.
  • Pruning can be done during re-potting.

Spring is the best season for pruning mandevilla. It keeps producing new stems and flower buds during the growing season. Unlike other shrubs, this vine doesn’t create flower buds that need to go through winter to bloom, so you won’t be pruning flower buds away.

If you need to reduce the shrub over the Summer or Fall, it’s also fine – just remember to water so it has enough means to recover from the pruning. Avoid Winter since wounds take long to heal; these let diseases in.

Growing and caring for mandevilla in pots

Exposure for Mandevilla

Choose a very well-lit space for your mandevilla, 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.

Bring your shrub outdoors from May to October to give it fresh air.

Watering Mandevilla

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

When potted, mandevilla needs a lot of moisture and likes being placed on a bed of constantly moist gravel or clay pebbles, since this recreates its natural environment.

Mandevilla after flowering

The usual blooming season for mandevillas 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

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, mandevilla does great near walls, lattices, trees or poles where their climbing abilities are highlighted.

Mandevilla does well in greenhouses where moisture levels are high, so if you wish to grow in an apartment or indoors, spray its leaves often with soft water.

  • Mandevilla is toxic when ingested and irritates skin when touched, so wear gloves or wash your hands after handling.

The name “Mandevilla” was given to the plant in honor of a British envoy to Argentina, Henry John Mandeville, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century. Mandeville also introduced Ipomoea indica, another beautiful vine with trumpet-like flowers in hues of blue.

Types and varieties of Mandevilla

mandevilla varietiesAnother famous houseplant, Dipladenia, is actually a special type of mandevilla. It grows into bushy shrubs that tend to hang over instead of climbing up like regular mandevilla vines.

Special varieties of Mandevilla

  • Mandevilla splendens x amabilis ‘Alice Du Pont’ – a hybrid that bears beautiful light pink flowers with a darker pink center. Possibly the easiest variety to find in garden stores.
  • Mandevilla laxa (formerly called Mandevilla suaveolens) – also called Chilean Jasmine, beautiful white, fragrant flowers.
  • Mandevilla velame – a beautiful but rare species, shown right. Native to Brazil.

Other vines that bear beautiful trumpet-like flowers can be planted together with mandevilla: allamanda, ipomoea, chalice vine, datura

Diseases and common issues related to mandevilla

Mandevilla leaves turn yellow most often when they were exposed to the cold or to lack of water.

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

If a cottony white substance starts covering leaves, a scale insect colony has appeared..

Mandevilla can also be colonized by mites and ticks such as red spider mites.

Read more

Smart tip about mandevilla

Adding flower plant organic fertilizer will enhance its bloom.

Twirling mandevilla – observe how the vine twirls when you first install it on a lattice, and ensure you wrap it around in the right direction!

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0: David Illig, Mauricio Mercadante
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  • Rex A Ryan wrote on 7 May 2021 at 17 h 19 min

    How and Where do I trim the Vines and How Often…

    • Gaspard wrote on 8 May 2021 at 2 h 49 min

      Hi Rex! The best time to prune is at the beginning of Spring: mandevilla continuously produces new stems and flower buds during the growing season, so you won’t be pruning “winterized” buds away. Spring is best because the vine has lots of time to produce new growth. However, if you need to reduce the shrub over the Summer or in Fall, it’s also fine – just remember to water so it has enough means to recover from the pruning. You can cut mandevilla back quite a lot, so don’t be afraid of shrinking the plant if you need to. Avoid pruning in Winter since wounds take long to heal; open wounds let diseases in.