As soon as frost danger has passed, we buy a bright red mandevilla and drop it into a tall ornate pot. To increase the flower show, we also plant trailing annuals such as sweet alyssum, sedum, calibrachoa, or verbena around the base of the vine.
The mandevilla loves the hot, Iowa summers and quickly twines its way across the deck rail, producing endless garlands of scarlet, trumpet-like flowers. And, because the mandevilla is so vertical, we get a lot of flower power in a small amount of space, leaving plenty of room for furniture and guests.
Mandevilla does best in full sun and slightly moist soil, but we’ve discovered that the plants are pretty tolerant if you forget to water now and then. The plants are also available in pink, white, and red-and-white-striped varieties.
Because mandevilla is tropical in nature, the show does come to an end once cold weather arrives, unless you live in Zone 10 where you can grow it as a landscape plant. However, you can cut it back and bring it indoors for the winter or just treat it as an annual and start with a new plant each spring.
Either way, this vine more than earns its keep, probably producing more flowers in one summer than any other plant.
Discover winter care tips for mandevilla.
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Written by Doug Jimerson