Imagine: They wandered through the perennial vines at the garden center, looking at climbing hydrangeas, honeysuckle and wisteria. “These are grow so large,” she said after reading the tags. “And they don’t flower all summer,” he said, after googling the plants’ names. The couple stood in the vine section, looking perplexed.
A garden center employee approached the couple and asked how he could help.
“We want a vine for a small trellis next to our deck,” she said.
“And we’d like something that flowers all summer,” he said.
“Maybe something in bright pink?” she added.
The garden center employee nodded, and motioned them toward the tropical plants. “You want a Mandevilla,” he said with certainty.
And they did.
Name: Mandevilla spp. Aka mandevilla vine
Type of Plant: A tropical vine that many in northern climates grow as an annual. Large, tubular flowers in white, pink, yellow, apricot, or red. Some grow as large vines, and others are more bush-like. All are easy, glorious annuals.
Why I love this: These plants are showy, reliable, and no deadheading. There is a size for every garden, container or structure; some are perfect for hanging baskets, others scramble up obelisks and trellises, and a few are lovely in window boxes and large pots.
A Word to the Wise: When you purchase a Mandevilla vine be sure you’re getting a variety that will grow as large as you want it to. The large vining varieties aren’t suitable for a widow box, for example, and some of the shorter types won’t fill a trellis or arbor. And don’t be confused by the fact that the shorter growing types with shiny leaves are often labeled Diplodenia…this is an old name that is still in circulation. All of these tropical, trumpet-flowering vines are in the genus Mandevilla.
Be sure to grow this plant where it will receive at least five hours of direct sun and fertilize these plants through the summer.