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March 23rd, 2021

Flower Power

by R.S. Walsh

Picture a plant so loaded with blooms that you hardly notice the glossy green leaves, that is the perfect description for a Dipladenia (Mandevilla sanderii). The Dipladenia is a spring favorite in the United States, and never more welcome than right here in Florida. This little plant embodies everything we love in a tropical flowering plant. From its glossy dark green leaves to the profusion of flower and buds in bright pinks, reds, or white, this plant signifies the celebration of Spring.

The Dipladenia is a sub-species of the larger Mandevilla vine. These plants will flower here in South Florida all year and will flower the best when you pinch off the spent blooms regularly. They do especially well in pots and even hanging baskets when smaller. Dipladenia grows best as a hanging vine, although it’s perfectly possible to train it up along a lattice-like the Mandevilla vine. When left untethered, flowers will cascade down from hanging suspensions or balcony railings and produce a marvelous effect.

These are easy to grow and maintain whether in the ground or in a pot. They do need regular watering and should be watered at the soil level. Try not to get water on the leaves to avoid mildew problems. Dipladenia like full sun and heat, if the temperature falls below 50 degrees they won’t last long outdoors. Try one of these lovely Dipladenia and enjoy all the blooms.

This plant column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, Sanibel’s garden center at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel Island.

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