Mandevilla Vines

“Alice du Pont” {Mandevilla X amoena} is considered one of the showiest of all the pink flowered mandevilla vines. Mandevilla is a perennial vine and is in the Apocynaceae {Dogbane} family. This elegant species of the hybrid Mandevilla vine bears clusters of bright pink trumpet-shaped flowers with even darker pink deep throats -- perfect for hummingbirds! Their twining stems have 3 to 8 inch dark green oval leaves that are also very glossy. A trellis or other support such as an arbor or pergola is perfect for this outstanding flowering vine to climb on.

Mandevilla vines are primarily a warm-climate vine, and do very well in full sun in warm coastal areas; however, they do like partial shade if grown inland. They are also very popular as a container plant. This is a big plus if you don’t have a garden spot to plant one in, or if you just prefer container gardening.

Ruby Star
#5 pot with 4' stake $24.99. Alice du Pont Mandevilla "Ruby Star"
#1 pot with mini staked $11.99  

There are two new red varieties: Best Red and a new favorite, Ruby Star. The Best Red starts out red and ends up looking closer in color to Alice du Pont. The Ruby Star has pointed petals and holds the red much better. Both are great plants.

Those of you who like white with a blush of pink will love White Delight or Monte. These also have pointed petals and are every bit as vigorous as Alice du Pont.

Those looking for the truly fancy will want to look for Pink Parfait. This is a very large double-flowered (or rose form) Mandevilla with the same pink as Alice du Pont. The vine is vigorous and the flowers exquisite, but there will be fewer flowers because they are double form.

As with almost every other plant I write about, it needs well-drained soil or it will die. For best flowering, you will want your Mandevilla to receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Full sunlight is better.

Ruby StarSince it is such a vigorous vine and flower producer, it needs small doses of fertilizer every two to three weeks. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer or time-released granules. Maintain moisture during the hot, dry times of the summer. A prolonged period without water may prove fatal to the plant.

Try growing a Mandevilla planted in a large hanging basket, and let it climb the long chains. A tri-color ornamental sweet potato flowing out of the basket in all directions will help set off the Mandevilla.

Try intertwining the Mandevilla with the iridescent blue-flowered clematis. This mixture of southern perennial and Brazilian tropical is not only bold but also spectacular.

If you have lattice structures around the house, the Mandevilla is one plant that is a must. Its ability to climb and bloom until fall makes it a champion. Being a tropical from Brazil means that gardeners in mild climates can get it to establish permanently. The rest of us will have to either treat it as an annual or give it winter protection. Planting in a pot and rolling it indoors for winter color or putting into a hot hose for the winter is another solution.

Before bringing it indoors, cut off all growth to make it the desired shape. It will not bloom indoors unless it is in a sunroom. Our goal is simply to hold the plant until the next planting season.

Another method, and probably the easiest for most of us, is to cut it back to about 6 inches and provide as bright a light as possible with just minimal water. Do not fertilize during this time. As the plant grows, we can keep it pinched back to leaf-axis, and the plant will develop a bushy habit.