8 Tips For Caring For Mandevilla in Winter - Backyard Boss
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8 Tips For Caring For Mandevilla in Winter

Mandevilla (mandevilla splendens), also known as rocktrumpet, is a tropical vine that makes a perfect addition to any outdoor space during the summertime. The plant grows anywhere from 8 to 20 feet long and is suitable for pots and hanging baskets alike. Its eye-catching red, pink, yellow, or white flowers bloom from late spring into early fall, and are known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Mandevilla is a perennial plant that thrives in zones 9 to 11. Since it will die if exposed to freezing temperatures, it’s often treated as an annual in cooler zones. If you’re willing and able to put in a little bit of effort to overwinter your mandevilla, you can be ready to bloom again come springtime. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help care for your mandevilla over the winter.

Decide how you Want to Overwinter

Mandevilla plant outside
Image credits: WFranz via Pixabay

If you live in a place where the temperature drops below freezing in the winter, you’ll need to bring your mandevilla inside in order for it to survive till spring. There are two different approaches to this, and some unique tips for each. 

Option 1: Treat as a Houseplant 

You can simply bring the potted plant inside to join the ranks of your indoor garden. Keep in mind, mandevilla won’t flower indoors, but you can enjoy its greenery all winter long. 

Option 2: Let it go Dormant  

If you don’t have the space, time, or conditions to bring your plant fully indoors, you can use an alternative, dark space that maintains a temperature above freezing. A garage or basement will work well for this option. 

Tips for Mandevilla in the Winter

Here are seven important tips and how they apply to both your overwintering options.

Tip 1: Know When it’s Time to go

Snowy frosted plant
Image credits: Martí Pardo via Pexels

Once the threat of frost is looming, it’s time to bring your plant inside. Once you start to see temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit consistently for over a week, you can bring your plant inside. Make sure to bring it in before the temperature goes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make this easier, learn the designated first frost date for your area.

Tip 2: Pruning is Important

Pruning shears
Image credits: Willfried Wende via Pixabay

Houseplant

Pruning mandevilla before bringing indoors will not only keep it to a manageable size but also ease the stress on the plant during the winter and encourage new growth in the spring. You can cut your vine down by about half; it’s fine to go a little more or less than that, too. It will grow, albeit slowly, during the winter indoors. 

Dormant

For a dormant plant, you should prune more aggressively, cutting it down to about 12 inches long. This will allow for easier recovery in the springtime, allowing the plants energy to be directed toward new growth. 

Tip 3: Pot but don’t Repot

Red Mandevilla in pot
Image credits: KRiemer via Pixabay

If you’re digging up a plant from the ground, you’ll need to place it in a put in order to bring it inside. Terracotta planters offer excellent drainage required for mandevilla.

Fill a 3-gallon pot with a mixture of one part peat moss, one part potting mix, and one part builder’s sand. If already potted, you should not repot the plant for the winter. Doing so will only encourage rooting, which isn’t needed at this time, and will stress out your plant.

Tip 4: Check for Pests

Mandevilla pest leaf
Image credits: João de Deus Medeiros via Openverse

Always check your outdoor plant for pests before bringing it inside. Mandevilla is particularly susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. Remove affected sick or dying leaves by hand and spray water, or use the appropriate houseplant insecticide to remove critters.

There is a plethora of ways to remove spider mites including miticides, insecticidal soaps, or neem oil.

Tip 5: Light According to Location

A pink mandevilla flower against a trellis indoors.
Image credits: Amelia Martin via Shutterstock

Houseplant

Outdoors, mandevilla thrive in full sun but for the winter inside, they require specific conditions. When picking an indoor location, it’s best to place it near a south, east, or west-facing window. During the winter, three to four hours of solid sun a day will suffice. 

Dormant

To encourage your plant to go dormant, little light is needed as you’re only sustaining its life during this time. Most leaves will drop due to a lack of light, but don’t be concerned. 

Tip 6: Avoid Drying Out

Mandevilla in pot dropped leaves
Image credits: loonyhiker via Openverse

Houseplant

Indoors, these plants don’t mind a cooler atmosphere. If you can keep your thermostat around 60 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit, this will be best to avoid drying out your plant. If night time temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit it’s time to take action and begin overwintering your mandevilla. 

Keep the air moist with a humidifier or pebble and water tray. 

Dormant

The temperature should remain above freezing, but for dormant plants, it can remain between 35 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Tip 7: Don’t Overwater

mandevilla yellow flower
Image credits: Andreas Kay via Openverse

Houseplant

Since winter is not a time for growth for mandevilla, it’s important not to overwater your new indoor plant. Doing so can leave to yellowing leaves and root rot. You only need to water your indoor mandevilla when the soil feels dry to the touch. 

Dormant

In order to sustain a dormant plant, you need to maintain moist roots for the entirety of its hibernation. This doesn’t require much; you only need to water every two to three weeks. 

Tip 8: Prepare your Plant for Spring

white mandevilla
Image credits: A. Barra via Openverse

Houseplant

When late winter arrives, you can start preparing your plant to be moved back outside. Mandevilla flowers on their new growth each year, so prune your plant again and aim to fertilize it once per month until you place it back outside in May when the weather warms up.  

Remove dead growth before placing outside so your plant can redirect it’s energy.

Dormant

Once on the brink of springtime, sometime in March, you can awaken your plant from its slumber. Give it a buffer zone by bringing it inside your home for a few weeks to begin its growth. When the days start to get longer, sunnier, and warmer, you can place your plant back outdoors. 

Don’t Let Your Blooms Freeze

Now you know the essential tips to maximize your mandevilla’s perennial abilities. If you overwinter this plant, you will be one step ahead for the summer gardening season. 

Which option will you pick for your mandevilla? Share in the comments! 

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