How to Winterize Mandevilla Plant

Plants & Flowers
Mandevilla Winter Care

Many home gardeners wonder about what to do with their mandevilla plants during the winter. How to winterize your mandevillas and what is the best way to prepare them for cold months? Those are just some of the questions home gardeners want to know.

Mandevilla vine is a popular plant many people grow in their homes and gardens. It's a beautiful spring blooming crop. While it's sometimes grown indoors, it's most commonly grown outside, using a trellis. Many mandevilla vines can be seen on porches, patios and decks.

Since most people keep them outdoors, it's important to know how to properly winterize these plants and make them healthy, strong and ready for the new spring.

Mandevilla Vine in Winter

Mandevilla vine thrives during spring and summer. As the nights begin to cool off and the cold weather approaches, this plant will naturally slow down. It's a perfect time to prepare them for the winter and the cold weather.

As the nights begin to cool off, it's best to give your mandevilla plants some food. This will harden them up for the long winter and it will prepare them adequately for the cold months. It's best to use a liquid fertilizer with a high middle number. For example, use 10-56-14 fertilizer, or the one with a similar ratio.

Make sure to use fertilizer lightly because otherwise you might burn the plants (the well-known "fertilizer burn"). Remember, the point of this feeding is not to promote growth but to simply toughen your plants up and prepare them for winter.

Preparing Your Mandevilla

After you apply the fertilizer, let the plants stay outside as long as possible. A healthy mandevilla plant can be able to handle temperatures in the hight 40s F (only for brief periods, though).

You should wait as long as the weather permits, but ideally about 3 weeks. After this, prune your mandevilla. Prune the whole plant back. It means not just tipping the plant but cutting it down. Cut it down to about 12 inches above the soil surface.

It's also a good idea to treat the plant for any potential pest problems before you take it inside for the winter. It's vital that you don't bring any pests to your house so make sure to inspect the plant carefully!

The next step for winterizing is to slow down on the water. Let the plant dry a bit and make it use to less watering. This will slow down the plant further and make it even tougher for the winter. Don't worry about the plant's well-being: you have given it some fertilizer so it's strong enough. At the same time, pruning has removed a lot of growth, which means that the requirements for water will drop.

After all these steps, you will be ready to bring your plant inside.

Indoors Maintenance

When you take your mandevilla inside, it's important to give it as much light as possible. You should make it stay strong but you don't want to promote growth during winter.

In any case, don't be surprised by some new growth, since it will likely happen. Your main concern, however, is to keep the plant strong and healthy until spring. Some people choose to place it in a plastic bag and keep in a heated garage. This is just one of the ways you can preserve you mandevilla during winter. Whatever you do, it's important to keep your plant on the dry side thoughout the winter.

When the spring comes you should be ready to move your mandevilla outside. Don't be surprised if the growth produces during the winter to be burned off; that's normal. You can move your mandevilla outside in the spring and it should continue to thrive. This is the best and simplest method for winterizing your mandevilla vine.

Photo credit: cristina.sanvito

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