Mandevilla is a flowering plant native to Brazil. The plant is also known by the nickname Brazilian jasmine. The flowers of a mandevilla are large and trumpet-shaped in shades of white, pink or red. Mandevillas are vining plants that grow up to 7 to 10 feet per season. According to Sandra Mason, the Unit Educator of the Horticulture & Environment department in Champaign County, Illinois, mandevilla grows up to 30 feet tall in warm climates and large green houses. Mandevilla is a finicky plant that requires specific care for proper development.
Mandevilla is a tropical plant that loves sun. Too much, sun, however, causes the plant to wilt and burn. Mandevilla grown outdoors needs an area of the yard that receives filtered light. Indoors, the plant does well near windows with filtered light (such as through sheer curtains), or placed several feet away from windows with bright direct sunlight.
Mandevilla plants have efficient root systems that store water for the plant. Water thoroughly but infrequently. HeirloomGardenExperts.com recommend watering mandevilla plants when the naturally-glossy leaves appear dull and slightly droopy.
Fertilizer is required to help the mandevilla grow and bloom during the growing seasons of spring and summer. HortChat.com recommends using a phosphorus-heavy fertilizer (such as a 10-20-10 formulation), mixed according to the directions on the package.
Mandevilla vines are cold hardy to zone 9. This warm weather-loving plant does not tolerate cold weather. Temperatures that approach 55 degrees Fahrenheit cause mandevilla to wilt and eventually die. When temperatures start dropping in fall or winter, a home gardener has a decision to make: dig up the mandevilla so that it can be overwintered indoors, or allow the plant to die and purchase a new plant the following spring.
When the growth of a mandevilla appears leggy and spindly, the spindly pieces should be pinched off. Pruning in this manner gives the plant a better shape and encourages fuller, more lush growth.
Mandevilla cuttings that are pinched off during pruning grow into new plants. Simply plant the wound end of the cutting into a flower pot filled with potting soil. The cutting develops a new root system and eventually will grow into a whole new mandevilla vine.