Dipladenia, a bushier variety of the plant, has stems that grow down and hang. They are a bushier plant; it is larger than the Mandevilla.
Botanical names for plants can be pretty confusing at times. As we unpacked a heap of lovely fresh plants, I was reminded of one of the most confusing plant name conundrums of all – what is the difference between a Dipladenia and a Mandevilla?
They look almost identical, with very similar foliage and trumpet-shaped flowers in white and shades of pink and red. But some are called Dipladenia, and some are called Mandevilla.
Mandevilla is a genus of tropical and subtropical flowering vines. They can grow several meters tall, twining their long stems around whatever they find to support them.
As well as these tall climbers, there are shorter, shrubbier forms, and it is these shorter ones used to be called dipladenias.
In 1933, the dipladenias were re-classified to become mandevillas, but the name Dipladenia has persisted in plant labeling.
Further breeding and hybridization have occurred to add to the confusion, and many of the new compact forms have been released using the name Mandevilla.
So, I’d suggest we pay little attention to whether they are called Mandevilla or Dipladenia and concentrate instead on how they grow. The Sun Parasol range is a good starting point for taller forms, and these come in white, pink, red, and crimson.
Alice du Pont is a good vigorous climber too, with crinkly leaves and lolly pink flowers.
There are lots of shorter varieties that are brilliant for pots, including the old favorites My Fair Lady (white), Red Riding Hood (red), Scarlet Pimpernel (scarlet), Merlin’s Magic (dark pink), and Guinevere (soft pink).
The Aloha series is another collection of compact forms in a range of colors.
All of them do best in a warm, sunny position, where they will flower profusely from spring through summer and into late autumn, even flowering through winter if they stay warm.
The tall growers are best in the ground or huge pots and will need some support. The shorter ones are brilliant in pots or even hanging baskets. Both need excellent drainage and need to stay a bit dry, especially in cooler weather.
Growing a Dipladenia
For best results, Dipladenia plants must be grown in warm climates. Nighttime temperatures should be between 65 and 70 F (18-21 C). The plant should be watered frequently during the summer, but the soil must dry completely before it is re-watered.
You can either plant the plant in the ground or a pot. A Dipladenia plant needs to be in direct sunlight. A well-lit area is the best place to grow flowers.
To force thicker, stronger branches, prune off any gangly growth that appears when the plant is still young. Mandevillas can be cared for with a trellis, while dipladenias need staking.
Dipladenia does not require a stake to maintain its little plant’s straightness as it matures. As part of proper Dipladenia care, fertilize every three to four weeks with liquid food.
You can either overwinter in a greenhouse or indoors and then stop fertilizing during winter. Even northern gardeners can keep their plants growing indoors with a little luck until summer heat arrives.