68 Mandevilla spp.Common Names: mandevilla, pink allamanda Family: Apocynaceae (dogbane Family)
Mandevilla is a tender woody vine much beloved by gardeners in warmer climates. It provides a nonstop bounty of huge pink trumpet shaped flowers shown off against attractive evergreen foliage. The very showy flowers have white and gold throats and are up to 4 in (10 cm) across and arranged in racemes (flower clusters). Mandevilla blooms heaviest in summer and sporadically throughout the rest of the year. This vine's fuzzy young stems twine around supports, eventually scrambling to heights up to 10 ft (3 m). The handsome leathery leaves are dark green, up to 8 in (20 cm) long and 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm) wide. Given adequate care, mandevilla is pest free and fast growing.
This plant was formerly known as Dipladenia splendens and it is sometimes sold under that name. This name is now considered a synonym and is no longer correct. A popular hybrid often offered by retailers is Mandevilla x amoena 'Alice du Pont'. This vine is very similar to M. splendens but is larger, growing to 20 ft (6 m), and has smaller oval shaped leaves. It also has bright pink flowers that are arranged in clusters. This plant is sometimes sold as Dipladenia 'Alice du Pont'.
Mandevilla is native to southeastern Brazil. This very ornamental vine is enjoyed as a garden plant in mild climate areas around the world.
CultureMandevilla is moderately salt tolerant and can be planted behind the first line of dunes or similar protection. Apply liquid fertilizer periodically during summer and you will be rewarded with waves of big beautiful blossoms! Light: Sun for best flowering. Will take part shade. Midday shade is appreciated by plants growing in very hot climates. Moisture: Needs adequate moisture, but can survive short droughts. Prefers well drained soil. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. In Zone 8 mandevilla is typically killed back by frosts but usually grows back from the roots in spring. Propagation: Cuttings taken in summer will root within a few weeks. Dust the stem end with rooting hormone powder to stop the flow of latex from the cut and to stimulate root formation.
This vine can be trained to climb posts and lattice. It is a perfect choice for colorful quick growing screens. Let mandevilla drip from an arbor or garland your front porch or entryway. Here in Florida this vine is probably THE favorite vine for growing up lamp and mailbox posts. For years I had a beautiful mandevilla growing beneath a water oak tree. I provided a long bamboo cane that gave the vine access to the tree's canopy. Upon reaching the sunlight, it entwined itself among the branches of the lower limbs hemming the tree's canopy with pink blossoms (but the winter of 2000's record cold snaps put an end to that fun).
Mandevilla does well in containers and makes a great houseplant if given bright light and reasonable care. Gardeners in more northern zones are beginning to appreciate mandevilla's heat resistance and other qualities. It is often grown as an annual or cultivated in containers so it can be overwintered indoors.
Grow mandevilla for its pretty and prolific pink flowers, beautifully presented against the dark handsome foliage. It is a fast grower and is a great way to quickly screen an eyesore. It's a popular plant that is easy to procure at virtually all large chain garden centers in Florida and other warm climate areas. Due to rising popularity it is becoming increasingly available "up north" as well.
Jack Scheper 12/01/96; updated js 07/15/01, 07/21/01, 05/27/03, 08/17/03