Plant Mandevillas in Containers
Mandevilla is a tropical plant that originates from Brazil, and does great in summer containers on Nantucket. These vining plants are super easy to grow and bloom profusely all summer and until the temperatures dip below 50 degrees. Their needs are similar to hibiscus preferring full sun, and moist, but not wet, soil. Be sure the container you use has good drainage and use a potting soil that is designated for container gardening. Mandevillas like to have some kind of trellis to grow on, and in fact, most of them come with a beginner trellis already in them. Don’t try to untangle the vines from these trellises, just insert a taller one. You can use bamboo stakes, or you can get a little fancier and let them grow up an arbor or trellis on the side of your house. You can also put them in a large hanging basket and let the vines hang downwards.
Another added benefit is that they are salt-tolerant, so these are perfect for decks and patios all over Nantucket. I’ve had folks tell me that they are very wind-tolerant too. If you are putting a container of Mandevilla in a windy spot, be sure to anchor the pot somehow, as they do get top-heavy with abundant growth. The container you use should also not be too large for the root system. It won’t hurt if it is, but it could delay flowering while the roots grow to the bottom of the pot.
When you plant your mandevilla, incorporate some organic Plant Tone into the soil, and plan to fertilize with Neptune’s Harvest Seaweed and Fish Emulsion every couple weeks beginning around July 4th.
It’s tough to find a sun-loving, wind-tolerant, salt-tolerant, easy-to-grow vine, but this one is pretty spectacular. Once you try it you will want to plant a couple every summer.