If you are considering starting a tropical-themed garden, consider growing mandevilla, a tropical flowering vine, native to Central and South America. Growing to lengths of 20 feet, mandevilla blooms in petunia-like flowers in shades of pink, white or red. Hardy to USDA Zones 10 and 11, it can be grown in containers and over-wintered indoors. The mandevilla thrives in hot regions in full sun.
Place a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the mandevilla. This will help to conserve moisture in the soil and also discourage weeds.
Water the mandevilla to keep the top 3 inches of soil moist. More frequent applications may be required during dry weather or on hot days. Water should be provided slowly, so consider using a soaker hose.
Fertilize the mandevilla in early spring with a 0-20-10 formula, according to the rate listed on the label.
Check the mandevilla periodically for signs of mealybugs and aphids. Signs of mealybug infestations include yellowing leaves that drop. Use an insecticidal soap to control infestations. Aphids can be removed with a strong blast of water from the hose.
Pinch off the tips of young mandevilla vines to encourage branching.