Plants

Mandevilla

Water need

The mandevilla (family Apocynaceae, the same as the rincospermo and oleander), is a very graceful fast-growing climbing plant, and characterized by splendid fragrant summer blooms which, depending on the species, can be white, pink, crimson, red or yellow. These are contrasted by the beautiful lanceolate foliage, which in some varieties, such as the Mandevilla laxa, is transient. Other species are M. splendens, with very large leaves, M. sanderi, with pink flowers, M. boliviens, with small and white flowers, and Sundaville varieties, with variously colored blooms. The mandevilla is still known as Dipladenia. With regard to irrigation, these are plants that have the peculiarity of requiring, in the summer season, high atmospheric humidity but medium watering. It is therefore necessary to vaporize the foliage of the mandevilla regularly and water the specimens in pots every 2-3 days, while for those in the ground it is advisable to intervene only in dry soil. A little more demanding, however, is M. laxa, which requires constant irrigation during the growing season. All species fear water stagnation, so it is advisable to keep the saucers dry.

How to take care of it


In our country the mandevilla is grown mainly in pots, except in the South where the mild climate allows it to be left outdoors all year round. It is a plant that requires a large container and a well-drained soil, rich in organic substances but not very compact. It can be obtained for example by mixing a good universal soil for flowering plants, enriched with additional humus and with a small amount of sand, or, alternatively, expanded clay to be placed on the bottom of the pot. While carrying out the planting operations it is good to wear protective gloves, the mandevilla contains poisonous substances. In early autumn it is advisable to carry out a drastic pruning, which will help the plant to grow thicker the following year. Similarly, you can provide with a spring pruning, it will favor the harmonious development of the plant preventing it from stripping in the lower part and giving it a more compact appearance. The multiplication can take place by seed or by cutting. For the latter, take twigs of about 7-10 cm, cut the low leaves and place them in jars with loose soil, to be placed in a sheltered position, indoors and in dim light. Keep the soil moist.

Fertilization


The mandevilla is a sarmentosa that in order to offer the best of itself, that is its copious blooms and thick foliage, requires constant fertilization throughout the spring-summer period. The most suitable fertilizer for this plant must be a specific product for flowering plants, which therefore provides a higher intake of potassium than nitrogen and phosphorus. Furthermore, as for most plants grown in pots, it should contain the other micronutrients necessary for the metabolism of these plant species: iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, boron. If a liquid fertilizer is used, the mandevilla should be fertilized approximately every 10 days, diluting the product in the irrigation water. The granular fertilizer, on the other hand, can be sprinkled on the soil once a month.

Mandevilla: Exposure, Diseases, and Remedies


The mandevilla is a plant that loves heat and bright locations, but not the direct light of the central hours of the day, especially if the climate is hot. Instead, it fears the cold, strong air currents and atmospheric drought. In winter it is therefore practically obligatory to hospitalize it in a greenhouse or in a closed veranda, unless the climate is very mild (always above 0, better still above 7-8 ° C). Diseases of the mandevilla are not frequent, thanks to the poisonous substances it produces; exceptions are aphids, spider mites and mites. The most affected parts are the buds and the vegetative apexes, which must be periodically examined to eradicate any infestation in the bud. Insects, in addition to being visible, also manifest themselves with sticky and deformed leaves (aphids), cobwebs visible on the underside of the leaves (red spider) and, again on the foliage, white-yellowish spots (mites). Insecticides based on pyrethroids, pyrethrum or biological remedies, including preventive ones, based on nettle extract, bitter tea or horsetail can be used to eradicate the colonies.

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