You’re the mandevilla!

My Mandevilla splendens ‘Alice du Pont’ came in the delivery from Select Seeds. You know mandevilla–it’s that seductive pink-flowered vine with the glossy green leaves that you see EVERYWHERE in containers nowadays in summer. The flowers have nice substance and resemble morning glories. As you can see in the photo, they have those wonderful twirled-up buds that I always think if I’m looking at just the right time I’ll be able to see unfurl.

There’s a guy down the street from me who plants mandevillas all around his front porch; they twine up the pillars and make a spectacular show. I haven’t had that much luck with mine–they never seemed to get more than a few feet high when I’ve grown them in the past–but the price ($5.99) seemed a bargain, since I know I’ve paid as much as $24 for a plant in the past. The plant that arrived is nice and bushy, very healthy-looking, but I suspect it’s got a long way to go before it flowers. That’s okay; luckily with this puppy, the foliage is attractive, too. I put it in a pot by itself next to my back-porch posts. I looked at Home Depot for a small trellis to put in the pot, but the only ones they had were way too big. So I’m going to have to either jerry-rig something myself or keep looking. If all else fails, I can string string up the posts and let it climb on that.

The only thing that would make mandevilla better would be if the flowers were fragrant. Oh, or if the plants were hardy here in zone 7!

Photo by Muffet licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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5 Comments

  1. Ursula King said,

    May 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    When I cut mine last fall to bring inside for the winter, I stuck the cut branches, which still had flowers on them, into a vase. Over the weeks, the water dried out, the braches became dried …but the flowers, though wilted, maintained their brightest pink. What a lovely surprise: a winter bouquet.

  2. mshingston said,

    May 24, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    It does sound lovely! How does it look now? Did it make it through the winter?

    • Ursula King said,

      May 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Yes, it did. The leaves of curse are very, very dried out but the dried blooms never loststheir color.

  3. Renee Koehler said,

    June 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I received a Red Mandevilla from my sister about 5 years ago on my birthday. We are both avid gardeners but live in a very cold Wisconsin climate. I bring her in the house every winter where she blooms at least twice. We call it the “Monster plant” because it continues to get bigger and bigger even though I continually cut it back so it’s vines don’t reach out and grab up one of my Shitzus! She’s in the garden once again and is always a show-stopper that everyone notices.

    • mshingston said,

      June 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Okay, you’ve convinced me–I’m going to try it! Luckily, I don’t have any Shitzus to worry about …


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