Monday, November 15, 2010

Pretty pictures: Mandevilla cvv.

All my experience with Mandevilla/Dipladenia cvv. to date has been work-related. I haven't tried growing one at home because the experience has also all been neutral to negative. They entwine themselves in support beams, neighboring plants' hanging baskets, and one another; they get bugs (especially spider mites) really easily; the spent flowers are always falling off (awkward, for hanging baskets); customers ask for one or the other and won't believe you when you tell them they're the same plant. (According to GRIN, "Mandevilla" is the correct one at the moment.) Things like that.

But they are pretty, in the right circumstances.

I seriously doubt that I'll be trying a Mandevilla anytime soon, at least not indoors. The shelves are already pretty full of plants; there's nowhere to put a new one. Worse, Mandevillas grow fast and grab on to anything they touch, which means that I'd have to try to untangle them every time I did a round of watering. That doesn't sound like a good time at all. And then there's the spider mite thing, which, I already have enough trouble with spider mites.

On the other hand, when you search for Mandevilla on-line, you find frighteningly enthusiastic praise. A lot of it. I don't get the impression that the Mandevilla enthusiasts are trying to grow it indoors, aside from maybe a couple months here or there during cold weather, but maybe I'm wrong. Have any readers tried a long-term indoor Mandevilla? How'd it go? Should I reconsider my position?


Anonymous said...

They're extraordinary plants for outdoor containers and as bedding plants, and in those contexts they're very reliable, fast-growing, floriferous, and clean-looking. I've never tried wintering them over, and I've never heard of anyone trying. My hort intuition tells me it would be difficult, but intuition isn't data.


Bom said...

Sorry cannot help you. My Mandevilla is located outdoors.

mr_subjunctive said...


We managed to do it at work once, with a large hanging basket that contained a white variety (and worked its vines into everything overhead). It got lots of light, and it was up close to the ceiling so the heat was probably pretty good too, but mites were still a problem off and on. It had the advantage of having been there for a while, so it was fairly used to the conditions, and obviously a heated greenhouse has advantages over the average home.

We got others in on a December or March shipment from Florida, but I don't remember much about their stay. (Which means it was probably March -- more things competing for my attention, and Mandevilla would sell faster in the spring.)

Aralia said...

I've never had this plant, but in this finnish site ( it says, that the plant can die inside in a month if it can't get enough light and humidity. Needs replanting and cutting in march/april, likes small pot. Some say that it likes to spend january and february in 12-15C (53.6-59F), others say that they have it in room temperature all year around.

It seems to be little tricky. It can thrive outside hole summer and then die the moment you bring it in. Others say they have had it on their window sill for years without any problems. Maybe it doesn't like big changes.

Anonymous said...

I will let you know by the end of the winter how mine worked out. Mine was so great outside in a container I decided I'd try to winter it indoors. So far so good but it's not even really winter yet and we haven't had the heat on at all so there's still lots of time for everything to go wrong.

Joseph said...

I got one to survive -- barely -- indoors over the winter. But it looked pretty wretched, and I don't like them enough to do it again.

Keith said...

I fancy a Mandevilla, but will hold back until spring if they're attractive to the dreaded spider mite! I have an Erythrina Crista Galli which is a spider mite magnet! I'm determined to get it to flower, but last night I put it out in the frost. It seems ok today in itself (they will take a bit of frost I'm told) but as it's supposed to be frosty all week it'll be going out again in a couple of days. Short of misting it 24/7, I don't know how else to raise the humidity, I've tried parasitic cultures & the most effective spray almost killed the plant!

Ginny Burton said...

I tried overwintering a pink one (Alice duPont) and a similar (related?) yellow vine that I was told was Allemande. Neither made it through to spring, but it was too long ago to remember why. I overwinter all my tropicals in a glassed-in breezeway that gets some morning light and lots of afternoon sun in the winter and can be heated with a space heater during the coldest days. Tropicals usually survive there, even if they don't flourish.

themanicgardener said...

Those petals make a lovely whorl, but your descriptions (and other reader's experiences) would put me off. Aren't customers alerted when you have to spend half an hour untangling the plant they want before you can hand it to them?

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, nobody ever asked to buy that particular one. I guess it was big enough to be off-putting all on its own.

Tom said...

Don't do it! They're the biggest pain in the rear. They rot easy, no matter what you treat them with they'll be covered in mealybugs within a month, the growth will be poor and spindly without artificial light and you'll lose about 90% of the leaves. That said the small smooth leaved ones are a bit easier than the large wrinkly leaved ones because it's harder for the bugs to hide. I still wouldn't call them easy though. I can't get them to overwinter and none of our customers at work could either (except the ones who have greenhouses).

Paul said...

Well no problems so far but -- as AllenDrew said -- winter isn't even here yet.

I bought one nearer the end of summer when Lowes had discounted them. Truth be told I bought it for the trellis. (The trellis is a metal 3-4ft Washington monument shaped frame ... bit heavier gauge wire than a standard tomato cage. Maybe twice the thickness?) Anyhow, I had been looking for a trellis like this for a time as there is one particular large flowering Hoya I'd like to try that can get rather large and I live in the north so leaving it outside is a "no". (Hence the need for a tallish indoor trellis.) Well it turned out to be cheaper for me to by this particular trellis along with its discounted "weed" -- about $10-15 as I recall -- than it would have been for me to buy a trellis alone. (The few I saw that even came close to what I was looking for were the heavy decorative ones that started at $40-50.)

But I digress ........ So the Mandie, one of the pink flowering ones, spent the rest of the summer out on my balconey. It did okay -- probably would have done better had I remembered to water it more often, but in any event it stayed green and bloomed off and on. My original intention, as the onset of frosty mornings approached, was to just let the cold kill it. I have no space indoors for such a beast and was worried that it might prove to be a mite magnet. But then it received a "stay of execution". A number of my fellow teachers had commented that they wanted to get some plants for their windowsills. Not wanting to ignore opportunity while it was knocking, I promptly volunteered the Mandie and about a dozen other plants for the job.

Currently the Mandie is doing fine. It is growing and blooming regularly. However, again, I must reiterate that the season is still young. Plenty of time for things to go south.

Btw, I had read somewhere -- though for the life of me I can't remember where -- that the plant can be cut back quite hard and stored in a cool/chilly room with the soil kept just barely moist. Then in the spring it will start growing again.

MB said...

I bought one of these last month when it was still too chilly at night to feel comfortable about letting it be outdoors (on the North Shore of Massachusetts). I'm not sure if it didn't like being inside or being repotted (maybe it wasn't a fan of either situation), but it dropped all its blossoms and began dropping its lower yellowing leaves. It's outside now, but it's still looking very unhappy with its lot. I feel terrible, honestly. It was gorgeous when I bought it.

Paul said...

MB, if your summer has thus far been as erratic with regards to temps as ours has been in MI, then that might be part of the problem.

Now the update on mine. Never had a mite issue. Instead had a mealie bug infestation. I know it was fine out on my balcony so I'm not sure if a few eggs were laid in the fall before I took it in to school or if one of the other plants of the teacher whose room I boardered it in had mealies and they moved on to the Mandie. Anyway, by the time I checked on the plantmonths later, it had a raging infestation going. Treated it with Bayer's 3-in-1, cut off much of the really disgusting foliage & vines, moved it to an empty room and a week or two later gave it a spray down with 99% isopropyl. The plant looked like s*** for the rest of the winter. Wound up cutting back the entire plant to about a foot tall. Gave it a few sips of water now and then. Gave it a couple more isopropyl treatments over the course of the winter just in case any teeny mealies had hatched out though I did not see any new ones. In the spring, moved it to a much sunnier window and gave it a bit more water. It has started to take off again and it is once more out on my balcony. (Still mealie free too.)

So in short, it can be overwintered but if you don't have sunny winters (and I don't) then the cutting back hard looks like the way to go.