What Is Mandevilla? (3 Helpful Things To Know)


If you’re looking for a flowering vine that will give your home or garden a dreamy, tropical feel, look no further than the Mandevilla plant. This stunning annual is easy to grow and can easily be overwintered and saved for next spring.   

Mandevilla (also known as rock trumpet) is a genus of tropical flowering plants native to Central and Northern South America. Mandevilla cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be grown in hanging baskets or trained to climb a structure.  

In this article, we’ll learn more about Mandevilla, including an easy way to propagate it and how to train it to climb. 

Does Mandevilla Climb?

Since there are over 100 species of Mandevilla in various forms and sizes, this plant is versatile. Although some varieties of Mandevilla are grown in a compact shrub form, the majority are climbing plants. Depending on the species, Mandevilla vines can reach heights of 20 feet. 

mandevilla leaves
Most varieties of Mandevilla are climbing plants that can grow to heights of 20 feet.

Given their tough, easygoing nature, your Mandevilla should be happy to grow in whichever direction you’d like it to, as long as you provide the proper growing conditions. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can plant it in the garden, keep it as a houseplant, or let the vines creep along your deck railing. 

 Many gardeners choose to grow their Mandevilla plants in containers and wrap the vines around a trellis. Since Mandevillas don’t have aerial roots or tendrils to grab onto structures, it needs help climbing. Use plant ties to loosely affix the vines to the object you’d like it to ascend or creep over. 

painted wooden trellis
You can install a new trellis for your Mandevilla to climb, or make us of an existing one if you have it.

When you’re placing the Mandevilla vines in position, pay attention to the direction the vine naturally grows in. If you start training it to grow in a different direction, the plant will resist and eventually unravel.   

Does Mandevilla Attract Bees?

If you or anyone close to you has a bee allergy, you may want to steer clear of Mandevillas. Pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, love Mandevilla’s bright-colored, nectar-filled flowers that are perfectly shaped for a sweet snack.

bee
Mandevilla has bright flowers and will attract bees, which is great for pollination but bad if you are allergic to bees!

They are a welcome addition to a pollinator garden, providing that it receives some shade throughout the day. 

(You can learn how to encourage and attract bees in your garden here).

Can Mandevilla Be Rooted In Water?

One of the great things about Mandevilla vines is that if you own just one plant, you could potentially possess a lifetime supply. This plant is easily propagated from cuttings and roots quickly in water. Here’s how to do it: 

Step 1: Select Your Cuttings

During the active growing season in your area, find a section of vine around 6 inches long, with at least 2 nodes near the bottom of the cutting. The nodes look like little bumps at the base of each leaf stem – roots will grow from here. 

Mandevilla
When Mandevilla is actively growing, cut a section of vine (6 inches long with at least 2 nodes near the bottom).

When you make the cut, it’s essential to use sharp, clean garden shears or scissors. Dull blades can make jagged cuts, leaving the plant vulnerable to infections.

Lingering bacteria on dirty shears can produce the same effect. So, use alcohol to wipe the blade clean before and after cutting, to prevent the spread of disease.

pruning shears
Use clean pruning shears or scissors to make the cutting.

Cut about ½ inch below the node at a 45-degree angle, which gives roots more surface area to form. 

Step 2: Remove Lower Leaves

Remove the sets of leaves on the bottom two nodes of the cutting. This is where the new roots will emerge. Any leaves that are submerged in water will likely die anyway. 

red flower mandevilla
Remove any flowers on your Mandevilla cutting, along with any leaves on the bottom two nodes.

If your Mandeville is in bloom, remove any flowers or buds that you see on the cutting. You’ll want the plant to put all of its available energy towards growing roots rather than sustaining flowers. 

Step 3: Dip In Rooting Hormone

According to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, using a rooting hormone such as Hormodin 2 increases your chance of success. Simply dip the nodes on the end of the cutting in rooting hormone briefly before you place it in water. 

Step 4: Place Cutting In Water

Place the cutting in a small, clear container of room temperature water. Make sure there is just enough water to cover the exposed nodes.

water bottles
A bottle is a good container for a Mandevilla cutting. Make sure it is tall enough, and use clean water.

If too much of the stem is underwater, the cutting is more susceptible to rotting before it roots. Place the vessel in a warm spot with plenty of bright, indirect light.

Step 5: Wait For Roots

The hardest step for many plant owners is watching for roots. This could take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks. When you start to see roots forming, wait until they are at least 2 inches long to take them out of the water.

Step 6: Plant In Soil

Once the roots of the Mandevilla cutting are well-established, it’s time to transfer your new plant to soil. Its first container should be a small nursery pot – no larger than 4 inches. Place the cutting in a well-draining potting mix that is moist, but not soggy. 

clay pots
At first, transplant your rooted Mandevilla cutting into a container (less than 4 inches wide) with soil.

Even if you’ll be keeping your plant outside, consider letting it remain in your home in bright, indirect light until it’s well-established and ready to be repotted.

In the meantime, you can check to see if the roots have taken hold of the soil by gently tugging on the base of the plant. If you feel resistance, the roots are secure in the pot. 

Step 7: Transplant

After a few months, your Mandevilla should be ready to move to its permanent home. If you’re keeping it in a container, put it in a gallon-sized plastic container with plenty of drainage. 

pink flowers mandevilla
After a few months of growth in a pot, your Mandevilla will be ready for transplant into the ground.

Be as gentle as possible when you move your plant to its new container or into the ground. The roots are still young, fragile, and easily damaged.

It’s also important to slowly acclimate your plant to the outdoors if that’s where you’re keeping it.  To do this, put the plant outside for a couple of hours on the first day. Over the next week, increase its outside time by a few hours each day, leaving it in its permanent location on the last day. 

Do Mandevilla Come Back Every Year? (Is It Perennial?)

If you live outside of US Hardiness Zones 9-11, Mandevilla plants won’t make it through the winter. They will not survive in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, although they prefer to be kept at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

white flower mandevilla

If you live in an area with cold winters, you can bring your plant inside for the winter. When the threat of temperatures below 50 degrees has passed in the spring, you can bring it back outside.

If you will be moving your Mandevilla, it’s a good idea to plant your vine in a container so it can overwinter indoors. 

Do Mandevilla Go Dormant?

If you live in an area where temperatures are never less than 50 but are around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below in the winter, your Mandevilla will likely go dormant. At this point, the plant will not bloom and its growth will slow down significantly. 

If your Mandevilla will overwinter outside during dormancy, simply stop fertilizing in the fall, and cut back on watering. Since the weather is cooler and the plant isn’t experiencing much growth, its water needs are minimal. You can resume your regular feeding routine just before spring to encourage active growth again. 

yellow flower mandevilla
Your Mandevilla will only get flowers once it breaks dormancy (after the cold weather ends).

Another option is to let the plant enter dormancy outside and overwinter it inside. This is an excellent option for those who would rather not care for it as a houseplant all winter. 

The New York Botanical Garden has useful advice on how to overwinter a dormant Mandevilla indoors. Here are some of the highlights: 

  • Keep the plant outside until temperatures are consistently cool (but not below 50 degrees). Then move it to a dark, chilly area indoors, such as a garage or basement. 
  • Cut your Mandevilla back significantly so that it is no more than 12 inches tall.
  • Similar to outdoor dormancy care, water it sparingly, just so that it doesn’t fully dry out. 
  • A few weeks before spring begins, wake your Mandevilla up by bringing it inside of your home and placing it in indirect light. The warm temperature and light will prompt your plant to begin growing again. You can start fertilizing at this point. 
  • Bring the Mandevilla outside once the temperature is consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Is Mandevilla Frost Tolerant?

Unfortunately, Mandevilla plants will not survive a frost. In fact, temperatures below 50 degrees can cause significant cold damage. 

frost on grass
Mandevilla will not survive frost. Even temperatures in the 30s and 40s are not good news for the plant.

If your area’s weather briefly dips below freezing unexpectedly, however, you may be able to save your Mandevilla. It’s a good sign if there is still healthy, green tissue remaining on the plant. 

If the stems and foliage above ground appear dead, there is a chance that the roots may have survived. If this is the case, you should see new growth start to appear in the next several months. 

(You can learn about cold and frost protection for plants here).

Conclusion 

Mandevilla are easygoing plants that reward you with continuous blooms as long as you maintain basic care. 

You can learn more about other climbing house plants here.

I hope you found this article helpful. If so, please share it with someone who can use the information. If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here. Enjoy! 

-Jonathon 

About the author:
Kathryn is a plant enthusiast and freelance content writer who specializes in home and garden topics. Based in New York, you can get in touch with Kathryn at https://kathrynflegal.journoportfolio.com/.

Kathryn F.

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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