I have a Mandevilla plant that has been blooming for the past 2 months. I know plants need a period of dormancy over the winter. Do I need to do anything to be sure it will bloom in the spring and summer months? Gary
Thank you for your question about an interesting plant. Your Mandevilla (common name: Rocktrumpet) is a happy plant if you have it blooming indoors in the wintertime! Mandevilla is a tropical evergreen vine with glossy dark green leaves and beautiful 3-5" diameter trumpet-shaped flowers that are pink, red, white or yellow. There are almost 200 recognized species of Mandevilla, mostly native to South America. Mandevilla will survive outdoors only in tropical regions where the nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees. It loves hot weather! In our region, it is a houseplant that is brought indoors for the fall and winter where it generally goes dormant. It will like a sunny spot and a location where it will experience normal room temperature. During dormancy, some of the leaves may fall off. Mandevilla generally do not bloom inside in the winter unless you have a lot of artificial light supplementing the natural sunlight. Keep the plant fairly dry in the winter so that it doesn't rot. Cutting back the Mandevilla is best done before new growth begins in the spring. It regrows quickly and the summer flowers bloom on new shoots so trimming promotes more flowering. As spring approaches and the days get longer, move the plant into the light and you'll see some growth starting. Pinching back the sprouts once they get a few inches long is a good way to encourage new growth that will help the Mandevilla grow fuller. Once you start to see growth, you'll want to feed the plant every 2 weeks with a plant food that is high in phosphorus and resume watering normally. Since the vine can grow 10ft or more in a single season, you'll need to keep it trimmed to fit the space you have. It also helps if you have a trellis or some other type of structure to provide support for the vine and help display its beautiful flowers.
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Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
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