Bloom Period and Seasonal Color
Mid to late summer to fall in colors such as pink, red, white, and yellow
Mature Height x Spread
5 to 10 feet x 1 foot
Attracts beneficials, attracts hummingbirds, deer resistant
This climbing tropical vine is native to South America and a perennial in warmer climates. In New England it’s mostly grown as an annual and/or houseplant since it will die with the first frost. In warmer climates the vine can reach up to 20 feet tall, but in our colder climate, it more likely grows 5 feet tall. When it does bloom in late summer the large, trumpet-shaped, tropical flowers are outstanding with its bright pink, red and yellow colors. If grown in a container, mandevilla vines can be cut back and brought indoors as a houseplant to grow in a sunny window all winter. Even though it won’t flower indoors in winter, it can survive to be moved back outdoors next summer.
Where, When and How to Plant
Mandevilla vines are best purchased as potted plants from a local garden center. Wait until warm weather is well established, even into early June, before planting it outdoors. The topical plant doesn’t grow well in cool conditions. Grow mandevilla in a full to part sun location, protected from cold breezes. You can grow mandevilla in hanging baskets or a container on the ground. One plant per 12 to 14 inch container works best.
Keep plants well watered and fertilized to stimulate vining growth and flowering. Mandevilla will grow fast during hot weather so don’t let the pots dry out. Fertilize every few weeks with an organic plant food.
Regional Advice and Care
Since mandevilla flowers best in the heat, grow plants in containers in a microclimate near a south-facing wall or building. It will be easier to protect them from an early frost in fall by laying a sheet or row cover across them when temperatures dip. Keep them well fertilized to stimulate lots of growth during our short summers. Train plants, using wire or string, to climb up pillars or trellises. Cut back the vines in fall and bring plants indoors before a killing frost to overwinter in a sunny window. Keep plants barely moist indoors and watch for insects, such as white flies, scale and aphids on the leaves. Spray with Neem oil to protect your plants from these pests. Your plant won’t grow much in winter, but should be ready to be moved outside in late spring.
Companion Planting and Design
Mandevilla vines look great trellised up a lamppost, arbor, fence or trellis. They are a showy flower so place them where they’re protected from cold winds and weather, but still are very visible. Consider planting colorful, warm weather loving flowers, such as lantana, tropical hibiscus and coleus, near this vine.
‘Alice du Pont’ is a pink flowered, popular variety. The ‘Parfait Series’ offers pink and white varieties with double flowers. ‘Red Riding Hood’ has deep pink flowers.
Excerpted from my book, New England Getting Started Garden Guide.