Dictionary of Flowers: Mandevilla

Mendevilla is a beautiful rose-like flower. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of VARose and Flickr

Mendevilla is a beautiful rose-like flower. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of VARose and Flickr

  • Mandevilla
  • Common name: mandevilla
  • Family:  Apocynaceae 
  • Category: Tropical. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11
  • Height: 6' to 8'
  • Width: 24" to 36"
  • Sun
  • Blooms: late spring to summer, early fall
  • Attracts: bees, butterflies
  • Growth habit: climber Used as a spiller or thriller in container combinations
  • Maintenance: medium
  • Soil: acidic, fertile, well drained. Water regularly if grown in containers
  • Garden uses: containers, climber, tropical border, houseplant
  • Diseases: generally disease free
  • Pests: whitefly, aphids, mealybugs

Mandevilla is a large genus of about 100 species native to South and Central America.

They grow in tropical climates, but they are available in nurseries as annuals or houseplants.

They are mostly twinning climbers with large, shiny leaves and trumpet shaped flowers in white, yellow, pink or red.

They can be single or double and some are borne singly, some in clusters. Some of the species have scented flowers. Mandevillas require support to grow (trellis, fence). 

Mandevillas dislike the cold, so in most growing zones, it's best to grow them in containers and bring them inside to overwinter. When night temperatures drop below 40, they should be placed inside or kept in a greenhouse.

Mandevilla needs to be grown in fertile, well drained but moist soil. Improve soil by adding compost or leaf mold, and if grown in pots, use best quality potting mix mixed with grit or vermiculite. 

Although they prefer sun, in dry, hot summers protect from afternoon sun as it can bleach the color of the blooms. Water consistently during late spring and summer.

They benefit from misting during summer if weather is dry. Apply a once a month dose of bloom boosting formula fertilizer during blooming period. Do not fertilize during winter and water sparingly.

Before bringing indoors, check to make sure it is insect free and prune to about eighteen inches. 

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Mandevilla can be propagated by cuttings in late spring or summer. Use rooting hormone to dip the end of the three-inch cutting, removing all leaves except the top two.

Plant in a mixture of peat and perlite. Place them in the shade and keep humidity high by placing a plastic bag over them. Roots can take up to two months to develop. 




IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Mandevilla is prone to pest infestation. Applications of insecticidal soap will be necessary to control aphids, whitefly and other pests. However, it is not prone to disease.

Popular varieties:

  • Mandevilla x amoena 'Alice du Pont' - climber with large pink flowers. Tolerates temperatures down to 60F
  • Mandevilla laxa (Chilean Jasmine) - large white scented flowers. Grows up to 15 feet. It is more tolerant of cold than other species (40F)
  • Mandevilla hybrids 'Sun Parasol' series - Available in white, pink and red. Big flowers four to six inches in diameter. Grows up to fifteen feet long
  • Mandevilla x amabilis 'Pink Parfait' - double pink blooms. Up to twenty feet tall
  • Mandevilla sanderi 'Red Riding Hood' - shrub-like with pink flowers and yellow throats. Good variety for containers

IWILLWRITECAPTION. Image used under a Creative Commons licence with the kind permission of NAMEOFFLICKRUSER and Flickr

Full List of Dictionary of Flowers Entries

Annuals For Containers

Perennials For Containers

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