Mandevilla has grow in popularity over the past few years. I saw a man filling his cart with them just this spring. He said that they were his favorite flower. His balcony was full of them. I'll bet that balcony is beautiful. For some reason, I am drawn to flowers that grow on vines. I love viney things...even as houseplants. Ivys are one of my favorite plants to grow in the house. There is another plant that is similar to the Mandevilla called the Dipladenia. But there are a few differences between the two plants.I've found the Mandevilla is a longer viney plant...suitable for trellis growing and as I have it...in a hanging basket. Mine is getting bigger and the vines will have to be trained to wrap around and dangle with their pretty flowers. Dipladenias are more full of flowers and the leaves are not as leathery. I love the shiny tough leaves of both of these plants. Dipladenia doesn't vine as much. I have several of these in pots around the yard. I am hoping that the Japanese Beetles don't like these plants. I've heard that they attract hummingbirds, but I've never seen a hummingbird near them...you'd think that the little bird would be attracted to the color and the tubular shaped flowers. We have so many hummingbird feeders here that the birds visit those a lot...maybe they will go to the flowers later.
All of the varieties grown are very showy and flower readily especially during the warmer months. You really have to replicate their climate in Florida...if you want to be successful. They prefer very bright light...full sun. They come North in the spring for us to put in our gardens. These plants can be very sensitive to over watering. Allow plants to dry between waterings. When you water, make sure you water thoroughly. Mine in the hanging basket with a cocoa fiber liner, needs to be watered everyday... to keep it happy. The plant loves hot temps and I've heard it will stall if the weather gets below 65 deg. I don't know as much about the Dipladenia, but I would guess that they have about the same requirements. I overwintered my Mandevilla last year. I did it once before and put it out in the spring...it took forever for the plant to bloom and I said that I would never do it again. Mine was so pretty...I changed my mind and brought it in. I cut the vines back to about 6 inches and put it in the window in the basement under the heat vent. It kept it's leaves all through the winter. I brought it upstairs to a sunny window in the early spring and it started to get new growth. The leaves weren't as big as they were last summer. I put it in the garden, when it was warm enough. It grew a little more viney. I needed something for the hanging basket in the front and took a chance that it would bloom. I could always move the basket to the deck... if it didn't look showy. Lo and behold...there was a bud and then another. I had given it a shot of Bloom Booster by Miracle Grow and that's all it took to bring it to life. Below is a picture of what it looks like today.I have this one and several Dipladenias..(my first year for them) They are so costly, so I'll try to over winter a few of them this year.