Wild Mandevilla (Mandevilla spp.) is a fast-growing tropical vine with large, showy flowers. Newer hybrids of Mandevilla are low, mounding plants. Mandevilla is often grown as a hanging basket or up a trellis indoors. Outdoors, the flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. However, you may wonder, “Can you plant Mandevilla in the ground?”
You may have an area outside your home that would be perfect for a vine or ground cover as showy as Mandevilla. This guide tells you where and how you can plant Mandevilla in the ground.
Can You Plant Mandevilla in the Ground?
If you live someplace where your minimum temperature never falls below 30-35 degrees, you can grow Mandevilla in the ground. It grows in USDA zones 10-11. The plant may die back but will come back in the spring. Mandevilla cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.
Pros & Cons of Planting Mandevilla in the Ground
Trying to decide whether to grow Mandevilla in the ground or a pot? Here are some things to consider.
- You do not have to move the plant around.
- The plant will not need as much supplemental water in the ground.
- It is easier to get the plant to grow up a trellis if it is in the ground.
- You can move the Mandevilla outside in the spring and inside in the fall.
- You can move potted plants to different locations if the plant gets too hot.
- Indoor Mandevilla does not have many disease problems and fewer pest problems.
- A potted plant has fewer problems with weeds.
How to Plant Mandevilla in the Ground
Mandevilla transplants are not difficult to plant. While you can occasionally find Mandevilla seeds for sale, seeds do not grow well, so use a transplant for best results. Follow these steps to set your Mandevilla up for success.
- Remove any vegetation where you want to plant the Mandevilla.
- Place one inch of compost on the site.
- Place a fertilizer that has at least half slow-release granules over the compost.
- Mix the compost and fertilizer in the first six inches of soil.
- If installing a trellis, do this now.
- Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the root ball. Then, make it deep enough to put the root ball into.
- Fill the hole around the Mandevilla with the soil you dug out of the hole.
- Ensure the soil goes to where the soil was when the Mandevilla was potted and no further.
- Water the soil to settle it.
- Add more soil around the Mandevilla.
- Repeat steps seven and eight until the water doesn’t lower the soil level.
Different Ways to Plant Mandevilla in the Ground
There are a few differences between planting Mandevilla as a vine and as a ground cover.
Plant Like Vines Using Trellises/ Fence/ Wall
Make sure you install the trellis before planting the Mandevilla. You will need florists’ tape, an elastic-plastic tape, to fasten the Mandevilla to a wall, fence, or wall. Gently take the vine and tie it to the trellis. Do not tie the vine too tightly, or you will restrict the vine’s growth. Never use wire to tie the vine to a trellis because the wire will cut into and kill the vine as it grows.
Plant It Like Ground Cover
You do not need to do anything special to grow Mandevilla as a ground cover. Both vines and mounding Mandevilla will grow as ground cover, although the vine will stay lower to the ground. As the plant spreads out, make sure there are no weeds in its path. Mandevilla does not do well with competition from other plants.
When Can I Plant Mandevilla Outside?
You can plant Mandevilla when the temperature does not get below 60 degrees. Planting in the spring will make it easier for the Mandevilla to get established than planting it in the summer.
Where Is the Best Place to Plant a Mandevilla Outside?
Mandevilla grows best where it gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. If you live in a hot climate, plant Mandevilla where it will get afternoon shade. The soil should be slightly acidic or neutral and full of organic matter. The soil should be well-drained. Heavy clay is not recommended because it does not drain enough.
After Care for Your Mandevilla
Your Mandevilla will need proper aftercare to grow well. Here is what you need to know.
Water the Mandevilla daily for two weeks to give the roots time to get established. For the rest of the first year after the Mandevilla is planted, water the plant one inch weekly. If it rains an inch or more, you do not need to water that week. After the first year, the plant can tolerate some drought. Mandevillas will grow better if they get at least an inch of water each week. In the fall and winter, water every two weeks.
Mandevillas grow in an area with high humidity. If you live in a dry climate, you will need to mist the leaves in the morning to raise the humidity around them.
You can fertilize the Mandevilla each spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Alternatively, you can use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength every two weeks during the spring and summer. Do not fertilize in the fall or winter.
In late winter, prune the Mandevilla. Mandevilla flowers on new wood, so pruning keeps it growing and flowering. Do not remove more than one-third of the foliage. Cut to keep the Mandevilla in a pleasing shape. Remove any dead or diseased vines when they occur throughout the year. Cut broken branches off below the break when they occur. Wear gloves to prune the Mandevilla as the milky sap irritates the skin.
When the new growth starts, pinching the ends of the plants will result in a bushier plant. With careful pruning, it is possible to grow the Mandevilla into a shrub.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Buy a Mandevilla?
Mandevilla is readily available at big box stores, nurseries, and online.
Is Mandevilla Toxic?
Yes, it is poisonous for humans and animals if ingested. The milky sap irritates the skin.
Can I Grow Mandevilla from Seed?
Growing Mandevilla from seed is possible but not recommended. Seed is hard to find and can be hard to get to germinate.