Mandevilla - Dipladenia - Mandevilla, Dipladenia

Mandevilla or Dipladenia

Once it was called Dipladenia, now it has been renamed Mandevilla, and there are also hybrids with unusual names, such as sundavilla; it is a small, evergreen, climbing shrub, cultivated only as a houseplant until a few years ago. Cultivation in apartments gave rise to a shrub rich in foliage, which rarely produced small dull flowers; It has recently been rediscovered instead as a garden or terrace plant, where, exposed to a good brightness, it is filled with large tubular flowers throughout the summer, also producing large branches.

Origins and cultivation

To the genre mandevilla a hundred species of climbing plants, originating from South America, belong; in the nursery we find only 4-5, with their hybrids.
These are tropical plants, which therefore do not like exposure to excessively harsh temperatures; they are then cultivated in the garden until the autumn colds arrive, so they are admitted to a cold greenhouse, where they should be kept away from frost; they can withstand minimum temperatures close to 3-5 ° C, but not less, otherwise they lose the entire foliage, and often dry up completely.
These are vigorous climbers, which need a large pot and a good universal soil, light and rich.
At the beginning of spring the branches ruined by the cold or very long are shortened, to prevent the plant from being emptied in the lower part; then you start to water the plant periodically, every time the soil is dry. Every 12-15 days we supply fertilizer for flowering plants, starting from March-April, until October.
The botanical species prefer bright locations, but not directly exposed to sunlight, especially during the hottest hours of the day; but there are hybrids on the market that are particularly suitable for cultivation in sunny places.
Throughout the summer, starting in the spring, until the end of summer, they produce very large colored flowers, remember to remove the withered flowers.


The mandevilla, once called dipladenia, is a tropical plant characterized by thin fickle stems. It belongs to the Aponiaceae family (to which we also trace periwinkle and oleander) and is native to Latin America ... It is much appreciated both as a houseplant and for exteriors; its strengths are its great adaptability, prolonged and very generous flowering and the wide range of colors available.
The stems, woody at the base, but herbaceous in the rest of their length, cling easily to any type of support (metal arches, nets, racks) and can reach up to 6 meters in height, depending on the climate and the variety.
Throughout the Center-North it is treated exclusively as a pot plant. It is in fact very sensitive to low temperatures (already 0 ° C can be fatal): it must therefore be considered that it will be possible to keep it outside only from mid-spring to mid-autumn and it will then be withdrawn. Some, also given the low cost of the seedlings, treat it as an annual, buying it back every year.
In the South, on the islands and on the coastal areas it is also possible to plant in the open ground, with a longer flowering period.

Mandevilla cultivation

The cultivation of the mandevilla is rather simple and, apart from its sensitivity to low temperatures, it involves very few difficulties and rarely incurs diseases of parasitic origin.
Here are some tips to get good results and keep our plants beautiful year after year.

Climate and winter protection mandevilla

The mandevilla must be treated as a pot plant in almost all of Italy: it must remain outside only until the minimum temperatures drop below 10 ° C when plant tissues begin to suffer damage. At about 0 ° C there is no longer a possibility of recovery. It is advisable to withdraw them in time in an unheated room, but at the same time very bright and not too dry.
This does not mean that in some areas, especially in the far south, on the islands or in coastal areas (such as the Ligurian Riviera, especially in the west), cultivation in the open ground cannot be attempted, also achieving excellent results.
In these cases it is a good habit, around November, to cover the aerial part with one or more layers of non-woven fabric. The foot must be mulched with a thick layer of straw, leaves, pine bark or mature manure, carefully covering the collar as well.

Mandevilla exhibition

To achieve rapid growth and copious flowering it is important to place the mandevilla in a sunny, warm and protected from the winds. The ideal is near a wall to the south, where it is reached by the sun for at least six hours a day.
An important factor for its well-being is undoubtedly a high degree of environmental humidity.
Outside it can be obtained by means of saucers filled with expanded clay and water (which however must not come into contact with the roots!) Or often by wetting the underlying floor (especially if tiled or in concrete). We can also commit ourselves by vaporizing the leaves one or more times a day.
In interiors, in addition to the methods illustrated, we can use an electric humidifier.

first nameFlowersHeight and postureOther characteristics
Alice du Pont Large, pink flowers with a darker throat Climber, from 3 to 5 meters
Mandevilla boliviensis White flowers with a yellow throat Up to 4 meters Very fragrant flowers
Mandevilla sanderi Salmon-pink flowers with a yellow throat From 3 to 5 meters
'Moulin rouge'
Very large crimson flowers, velvety with a paler throat From 2 to 3 meters
Cream Pink
Light pink with a darker throat Up to 3 meters
Sundaville Red Star Intense red with fine white streaks Up to 1 meter
Sundaville Cosmos White / Cosmos Pink White with a yellow throat / Rose with a yellow throat
Up to 2 meters
Diamantina® Rubis Hybrid in more shades: from fuchsia to red Very compact, maximum 50 cm high, ideal for vases Very drought resistant
Diamantina® Opal Citrine Light yellow flower At most 50 cm Abundant flowering from spring to autumn

Planting / repotting March, April / October, November, December
Flowering From May to November
Pruning March April
Propagation-cuttings May / August
Irrigation-fertilization April-October
Home collection or cold greenhouse October to April

Planting mandevilla and repotting

The planting or repotting of this climber should always be carried out during the vegetative rest.
For planting in open ground it is good to work around April, when temperatures are already mild even during the night.
The substitution of the exhausted earth, and the eventual passage to a larger container, can be made from October until March, however, waiting for the flowering to end.

Mandevilla soil

To obtain good results it is necessary to use a rich, but light and well-drained soil. Usually the molds for flowering plants are excellent.
On the bottom a thick draining layer based on expanded clay must be prepared: thus we will avoid the stagnation of liquids, the most frequent cause of diseases of the root system.
We will then insert the earthen bread (which we will eventually have cleaned from the felted parts, from damaged roots or marches) so that the collar is about 1 cm below the ground level. We can also insert in depth some small rod or other support, useful to tie and direct the stems.
In the garden? Even in the open ground it is important to prepare a good draining layer at the bottom of the hole. We then check that the substrate is not too compact and heavy; in that case we will lighten it with sand and organic soil conditioner which, in addition to improving the texture, will increase its vitality.
It is always a good idea to mix a small amount of slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants.

Mandevilla irrigation

The mandevilla is able to withstand even long periods of drought thanks to its fleshy roots where water and nourishment are accumulated.
In order for the plant to remain viable and flourish, it is advisable to irrigate with a certain continuity. The soil should always be kept slightly damp, but not too wet.
In full earth the irrigations must be delayed a lot in order to favor an almost complete autonomy of the plant. We intervene only if the soil is completely dry, after a prolonged lack of rain.
For the well-being of the plant it is advisable to always use minimally mineralized and, above all, calcium-free water. The ideal is to collect the rain or, at most, let the tap rest for a few days so that the salts are deposited on the bottom.

Fertilization mandevilla

During the vegetative period, every two weeks, a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants must be administered in which the intake of potassium is prevalent. If we wish we can dilute it very much and distribute it every time we irrigate so that the nutrient intake is always constant.

Mandevilla pruning

It is important to stimulate the growth of new shoots and to always keep the individual healthy.
The right time for this operation is the beginning of spring: we eliminate all the damaged, dry or with signs of disease. The healthy stems can instead be shortened from 1/3 to 2/3 to stimulate the preparation and production of secondary branches.

Mandevilla poisonous plant

It is important to carry out this work always wearing waterproof gloves: the mandevilla is in fact poisonous in all its parts. However, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the latex that comes out when cutting the stems since it can cause severe skin irritation.

Mandevilla - Dipladenia: Mandevilla propagation

Getting new seedlings is by no means simple: unfortunately, the cuttings root with some difficulty.
It can in any case be fun to try:
- Segments approximately 8 cm long should be removed. Both herbaceous (late spring) and semi-woody (after August) are fine.
- We immerse the cutting area in the rooting powder and position the segment in a very light and aerated substrate (of sand and peat, or peat and perlite) at a constant temperature of 18 ° C.
- We always keep the ambient humidity high by covering it with a transparent plastic film and often vaporizing.
Generally rooting occurs in three weeks.
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