Wild Mandevilla is a genus of gorgeous vines with dark green heart-shaped leaves and large showy flowers. Newer varieties grow as small, mounded plants. Variegated varieties are also available. Mandevilla is very popular but only grows outside in USDA zones 10-11. You may be wondering, “Can Mandevilla grow in pots?”
Living in a cold region where most plants won’t make it through the winter can be frustrating. This guide will tell you how to grow the subtropical and tropical Mandevilla in a container. You can grow it outdoors during warm weather and bring it indoors for the winter.
Can Mandevilla Grow in Pots?
Yes, Mandevilla will grow in pots. Plants grown in pots will need more water and fertilizer than ones grown in the ground, but they thrive when their needs are met. Pots can be grown indoors during the winter and moved outdoors for the spring and summer.
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Types of Mandevilla to Grow in Pots
Wild Mandevillas are vines. The older Mandevillas need support such as a trellis or stake to grow on. Alternatively, you can grow them in a hanging basket so the vines can trail over the sides. Newer varieties have been developed that are small, mounded varieties. Most of these Mandevillas grow 12 to 18 inches tall and as wide. Their small size makes them ideal for containers and hanging baskets. These Mandevillas do not need support.
When Do I Plant Mandevilla in a Pot?
While you can plant Mandevillas in a pot any time of the year, planting in the spring will maximize the plant’s chances of getting established and growing well.
How Do I Plant Mandevilla in a Pot?
Planting Mandevillas is not hard. You will need a pot about two inches larger than the pot the Mandevilla is currently in and about two inches deeper than the current pot. Make sure it has drainage holes. You will also need a well-draining potting mix formulated for indoor plants.
- Put the potting mix in a bucket and cover it with water.
- Stir the potting mix to make sure it gets wet throughout.
- Drain the water out of the bucket.
- Fill the pot one-third full of potting mix.
- Place the Mandevilla on the potting mix.
- Put potting mix around the sides of the plant until it reaches the top of the plant’s root ball.
- Do not put soil over the top of the root ball.
- Water the plant in.
- Insert trellis into the potting soil if using one. Be careful not to damage the root ball with the trellis.
How Do You Care for Potted Mandevilla?
Once you have planted your Mandevilla, you will need to provide for its needs. Many people place their potted Mandevilla outdoors during the late spring and summer, then bring them indoors during the fall and winter. Make sure the Mandevilla gets the items below to keep it happy.
Mandevilla needs bright, indirect light. Direct sun indoors can burn the leaves. Outdoors, place the Mandevilla where it will get at least six hours of direct sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, afternoon shade will keep your Mandevilla from getting scorched. For more details about how much sun Mandevilla needs, check out my article here.
Potted plants need more water than plants grown in the ground. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. I moisture meter will help you tell if the plant needs watering yet. To keep fungus gnats from being a problem, let the top of the soil just dry out before watering.
Water the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes. Wait 15 minutes, then empty any water out of the saucer. Leaving the pot sitting in water will cause the roots of the Mandevilla to rot. Outdoors, you will have to water more often than indoors because the soil dries out faster.
Mandevilla in pots needs frequent fertilization during the spring and summer. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer for indoor plants mixed at half strength every two weeks. Choose a fertilizer high in phosphorus. Do not fertilize during the fall and winter.
Do not place your Mandevilla outdoors until the night temperature is over 60 degrees all the time. Cold below 40 degrees will injure the plant’s foliage. Temperatures below freezing will kill the Mandevilla. Indoors, place the plant where the night temperatures are 60-65. During the day, the Mandevilla should be at temperatures of 70 degrees or above. Keep the plant out of drafts and away from vents.
Mandevilla grows in humid areas. They require more humidity than is found in most homes. Either mist the leaves in the morning or place a pebble tray near the Mandevilla. A pebble tray is filled with pebbles, then water is poured in until only the tops of the pebbles are dry. Place the Mandevilla pot on the pebbles. As the water evaporates, it creates a humid microclimate around the Mandevilla. Remember to refill the water in the pebble tray regularly. Outdoors, mist the leaves in the morning if you live in a dry climate.
In late winter, before the Mandevilla starts growing, prune the plant by cutting off the top third of the vines or branches. Mandevilla blooms on new growth, so pruning it will make the plant bloom more. Buds form in early spring, so make sure you prune the plant before it begins greening up.
Pest & Disease of Mandevilla in Pot
The only disease that is common in Mandevilla is root rot. This disease is almost always caused by overwatering.
Pests include aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies. These small insects can cause yellow stippling on the leaves and wilting. Treat them with insecticidal soap or neem oil formulated for indoor plants. Be sure and follow the label directions. Hot temperatures can interact with both insecticidal soap and neem oil, so make sure you follow the directions about when to use the pesticides, or you will burn your plant.
Mandevilla Container Ideas
Here are some ideas for ways to grow Mandevilla in containers.
1) Bamboo Mini Trellis
These beautiful blue pots set off the showy red blooms and really make them pop. The bamboo mini trellis supports the Mandevilla without taking away from its beauty. You can make your own trellis from bamboo or buy one at your favorite nursery.
2) Mixed Container with Ivy
These containers have it all: the towering Mandevilla vines growing on a rustic trellis provide the thriller, and the trailing ivy provides the spiller. Add a few flowers that like moist soil as the filler. Mandevilla grows best with even moisture, so everything else in the container has to have similar water needs.
3) A Ladder As A Trellis
A trellis doesn’t have to be hard to make. This Mandevilla is growing up on a ladder painted to match the house. The showy blossoms against the white house really pop, but you don’t have to worry about damage to the house from the vine tendrils.
4) An Amphora Can Hold More Than Wine!
Dipladenia is a subspecies of Mandevilla. Since they need the same care, you can put them in the same container. This Amphora is just the right depth for both of them when on its side.
5) Cattle Panels Make An Inexpensive Trellis
For an inexpensive Mandevilla trellis, use a cattle panel. You can get them at any home improvement center or farm supply. Paint them to match the background to make the panels practically invisible. Paint them a contrasting color to make them part of the show.
6) Mandevilla in Hanging Baskets
Instead of having Mandevilla grow over an arbor or pagoda, hang baskets full of the vines from the top of the structure. This way, the Mandevilla looks nice but doesn’t put out too much shade when you are sitting under your pagoda.
7) Dress Up a Bare Column
Dress up the columns on your porch with the showy blooms of the Mandevilla. Choose a variety that has a bloom color that contrasts with the color of your column for the best results. When it gets cold, and the foliage dies back, simply peel it off the column and bring the pot indoors for the winter.
8) Fill That Corner With a Pot of Mandevilla
Fill that corner between two windows with a pot of Mandevilla. The plant will thrive in the light and will help bring the outdoors inside. Make sure the plant gets only indirect light, so the leaves don’t get burned.
9) A Colorful Shrub
With careful pruning, you can grow vining Mandevilla into a shrub. An unintrusive support in the center of the vine will help the Mandevilla hold its shape. Pinching off the edges of the vines will encourage the plant to be bushier.
10) Window Box Privacy Screen
Fill a window box with Mandevilla. If you use the mounding type for the thriller and the vining type for the spiller, you will have a spectacular privacy screen for your window all spring and summer.
Mandevilla makes great potted plants. Their showy blooms make a big statement. Mandevilla needs a few things like lots of light and consistently moist soil. Provide for the Mandevilla’s needs, and the plant will reward you all year long.