How to Prune Mandevilla? Everything You Need to Know

Mandevilla is a tropical/sub-tropical genus of flowering vine that belongs to the Apocynaceae family. 

They are five-petaled beauties that bloom on vines that grow vigorously each year. 

You need to know when and how to prune Mandevilla if you want to plant/grow it.

How to prune Mandevilla?

The most straightforward way to prune a Mandevilla is by starting with the longest branches and trimming them in half, lengthwise. Next, remove all the broken, dead, or diseased areas of the plant. Before finishing up, you may trim all the main vines down to 4 inches or less.

Read on below and learn how to prune Mandevilla!

Why Do We Prune Mandevilla?

There are several really good reasons for pruning your Mandevilla annually, the first being that it encourages fresh new growth for the upcoming year’s growing season. The new growth results in more blooms and possibly crisper colors as well.

The next big reason for pruning Mandevilla is that it keeps the plant nice and tidy looking. Without pruning, Mandevilla becomes longer and taller than it should be. In other words, it gets leggy if you don’t prune it.

If you don’t prune your Mandevilla it will also have fewer and fewer blooms each year.

There are also times that you may need to prune your Mandevilla in order to protect it from bacteria, disease, or pest infestations.

Further, if a part of your Mandevilla becomes severely damaged, whether, from a falling tree branch, the weed eater, or something else, the affected area should be trimmed up.

Pruning your Mandevilla when it has broken branches keeps it nice and neat as well as ensures the next year’s growth will be thicker and healthier.

A quick recap: we prune Mandevilla each winter, and in some cases (for broken, leggy, or pest-infected branches) during the growing season. Pruning encourages fresh growth, more blooms, and generally better-looking Mandevilla.

When Should We Prune Mandevilla?

The main time to prune Mandevilla is during the coldest winter months. 

That said, there are also some exceptions that call for immediate pruning during warmer parts of the year like spring and summer while your Mandevilla is in full swing.

When branches become broken, dead, or infected by pests or disease, they need pruning right away. 

Likewise, if your Mandevilla’s new growth is coming in sparse, and looking leggy/spindly, you may consider pruning it immediately, rather than waiting all year for the cold winter months to roll around.

If you prune your Mandevilla during the spring or summer, you may not see nearly as many blooms this year. 

However, you’ll rest assured knowing it’s well prepared for the next year’s growing season. 

Further, there are slight differences you should be aware of while pruning if your Mandevilla is a vine growing from the ground or is planted in a pot. 

Read more in the following sections.

How to Prune a Potted Mandevilla Plant? 

Pruning a potted Mandevilla is quite a bit different than pruning ones that grow outside in the ground. 

The steps to pruning a Mandevilla plant are:

  1. Remove dead, broken, or diseased parts of the plant first, cutting them off at least 2 inches below the affected areas
  2. Take each long vine/branch and cut it back to just 3 or 4 inches (or up to 50 percent of its overall length)
  3. Water and feed the plant nutrients or fertilizer

The main reason you may pay more attention to your potted Mandevilla plant than the one outside is that it’s in a container, with limited space and nutrients, and its appearance is likely crucial to you too.

In other words, your potted Mandevill plant requires pruning for aesthetic reasons as well as to encourage new growth and more blooms.

On the flip side, some folks prefer to potted Mandevilla plant just once every 2 to 3 years. 

That’s two to three hundred percent less than the Mandevilla outside in the yard or garden that needs pruning every winter.

The reason you can get away with pruning the potted version of this vining flower is simple: there is less space for its root system to develop. 

The smaller your Mandevilla’s root system is, the smaller its overall size is.

How to Prune a Mandevilla Vine? 

Pruning a Mandevilla vine is quick and easy compared to many plants. Here are the steps:

  1. Identify problem areas and begin there
  2. Remove dead and broken vines/branches
  3. Cut the main vines, and leggy branches with little flowers, by 50 percent
  4. Alternatively, you may cut all branches down to a height of 2 to 4 inches above the ground level
  5. Thoroughly water your plant and provide it with fertilizer

Whether your Mandevilla is growing in a pot or in the ground, you prune it in the same fashion. 

The main difference is that a potted plant may not produce as much new growth each year and therefore doesn’t always require yearly pruning.

Don’t forget to thoroughly water and fertilize your Mandevilla, whether they are in the ground or pots, after pruning.

Fertilizing after pruning ensures that your plant has everything it needs to recoup and produce new growth and blooms.

If you’re not sure if your Mandevilla is in need of pruning this year, scroll back up the article and read over the first two sections of this article.

How Do You Prune a Mandevilla for the Winter? 

The winter is the best time to prune your Mandevilla, no matter where it is planted or what size it is. 

During the late winter, just 6 to 8 weeks before spring, when the plant is still dormant, but almost ready to start growing for the year, make your cuts.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Have a good look at the plant and identify the areas that need pruning
  2. Begin with the longest branches, and broken or dead branches, trimming them down to just 2 to 4 inches long in total
  3. Next, even up the branches, so that they are roughly all the same size, give or take an inch or two
  4. Water and fertilize your plants for the year

Tips on Prune Mandevilla

Pruning Mandevilla is a quick and easy job once you know what you’re doing. Hopefully, with all the above information you’ll have no issue with this task.

We’ve put together a few tips for pruning Mandevilla:

  • Avoid cutting Mandevilla during the growing season if at all possible
  • If you must cut back Mandevilla during the growing season, don’t cut new growth
  • Trim your Mandevilla yearly, during the wintertime
  • Cutting your Mandevilla in the winter promotes more blooms in the next growing season
  • Remove up to 50 percent of the branches/vines when you prune
  • Avoid going more than one year without cutting your Mandevilla back

Q&A: 

Should I cut my Mandevilla back in the winter?

The wintertime is the best time to cut your Mandevillas back. They are dormant during the coldest parts of the year and won’t be affected by slow or stunted growth like Mandevillas that are cut during the spring, summer, or fall.

How do you prune a leggy mandevilla?

The best approach for pruning leggy Mandevillas is cutting them back during the winter. The longer and leggier the branches are, the more they should be cut back towards the main stalk. Trim up to half of the branches back, focusing on the leggiest ones.

How much should I prune my Mandevilla?

Mandevilla needs to be pruned at least one time each year. By pruning your Mandevilla yearly, you are encouraging new and healthy growth. The best time to do so is in the winter. Cut approximately 50 percent of the branches back.

Photo of author

Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas

Jordan is a full-time writer, content creator, and indie author. When he isn't writing he's either spending time with his family or doing something outside. Jordan has a passion for DIY projects, home decor, gardening, camping, hiking, and primitive survival skills.

Leave a Comment