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Dipladenia Plant Care — The Definitive Guide

Dipladenia Plant Care — The Definitive Guide

Dipladenias are beautiful bushy plants belonging to the Mandevilla genus. They are evergreen, tropical vines and have several popular varieties.

Due to the shape of their flowers, these plants are commonly known as Funnel Flowers or Rocktrumpets.

These plants are natives of Brazil, Northern and Southern America, Mexico, and the West Indies.

Previously, the larger plants were referred to as Mandevilla while the small, bushier varieties were known as Dipladenia. 

Presently, they are all classified as the same genus. Overall, the genus includes up to 200 different tropical species as well as hybrids. 

Dipladenia plants are somewhat different from Mandevilla plants though. Their leaves are a darker green. They have fine, pointed leaves that also appear slightly glossy.

Dipladenias have a fuller shape and look more like a shrub.

Their flowers are also smaller in comparison to those of the Mandevilla.

 

Dipladenia Care

Dipladenia plants need at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. Well-draining, loamy, or sandy soil is best and should be kept moist. Water once every 8 days and feed once in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Humidity is not too important, but temperatures must be above 65℉ (18.3℃).

 

Soil

These plants need loamy to sandy types of soil. They should be kept moist but not wet or soggy. Drainage is important, the soil should be free to well-draining. Preferential soil pH levels are from 6.6 to 7.8. Store-bought potting soils are suitable for your Dipladenia. 

Dipladenias can be grown indoors or outdoors. However, these plants are known to do better when kept indoors. When potted or planted directly in the ground, they prefer a moist but free-draining soil type. Ideally, a sandy or loamy type of soil should be used. 

These plants also prefer a soil pH level of between 6.6 and 7.8.

That said, Dipladenias are slightly lenient and will be able to grow in soils just outside this pH range. Generally, store-bought potting soils will suffice. 

 

Light

Dipladenias need a lot of light to thrive. Direct to partial sun is advisable for best growth. A minimum of 6 hours of sun exposure per day is recommended. Adequate sun exposure keeps this plant healthy and encourages flowering. In hot climates, avoid extended exposure to harsh sun rays. 

As tropical plants, Dipladenias enjoy the sun. They grow their best in full, direct sun to partial sun. When grown indoors, a brightly lit windowsill is preferential.  Ideally, these plants need between six and eight hours of sun per day. 

It is important to keep your Dipladenia in a well-lit spot. Doing so will not only ensure your plant remains healthy. It also encourages these plants to flower.

In very hot climates, it is recommended that you place your Dipladenia in a partially shaded location. Extended direct exposure to the harsh sun rays may lead to the leaves being scorched. 

 

Watering

Water your plant deeply and thoroughly every 8 days or so. Water more frequently in warm weather. They like to be kept moist but not overly wet. Avoid overwatering this plant as it will likely lead to root rot. They have a slight tolerance to drought as they store moisture in their roots. 

You can typically expect to water your Dipladenia once every eight to ten days. In warmer weather, it may be necessary to water them more frequently. They prefer their soil to be kept somewhat moist. However, too much water will likely lead to your plant contracting root rot. 

Although moisture is desirable, some dryness is acceptable. This is because Dipladenias are capable of storing moisture in their roots. These plants are better equipped to deal with short periods of drought than when faces with too much water. 

It is best to water your Dipladenia deeply and thoroughly. Doing so allows the water to soak into the plant’s soil and be absorbed. Any excess water should drain out and can then be discarded. Do not let your Dipladenia sit in a pool of water. 

 

Temperature

Dipladenias thrive in warm temperatures. They are not very cold tolerant plants and are not frost-hardy. These tropical plants should be kept at temperatures above 65℉ (18.3℃). If temperatures drop below this, the plant will need to be overwintered indoors. 

Coupled with their love for the sun, Dipladenias grow best in warm temperatures. These plants do not have much tolerance for cold temperatures. They are also not frost-hardy.

The ideal temperatures for your Dipladenia plants are 70℉ (21.1℃) and above. 

Nighttime temperatures should remain around 65℉ and 70℉ (18.3℃ and 21.1℃).

Anything below these temperatures and your plant will likely suffer damage from the cold. Because of their low tolerance for the cold, Dipladenias should be overwintered indoors. 

 

Humidity

These plants are thought to grow well in a range of humidity levels. In very dry climates, misting your plant is advisable. Mist your Dipladenia occasionally to increase the humidity level around it. 

Dipladenias are not fussy when it comes to humidity. They are thought to grow just fine in a range of levels. If the air around your plant is excessively dry, misting may be required. Mist your Dipladenia occasionally during dry spells to increase the humidity around it.

 

Fertilizer

It is recommended that this plant only be fed during its growing period. These plants are not heavy feeders and do not need very frequent feedings. A slow-release fertilizer can be applied once in the spring. Liquid fertilizer can be applied a maximum of two times whilst the plant is growing. 

These tropical vines are not very heavy feeders. Dipladenias do well on minimal applications of fertilizer during their growing period. It is possible to feed this plant with either a slow-release fertilizer or with a liquid fertilizer. 

When using a slow-release fertilizer, one application in the spring is sufficient. In the case of a liquid fertilizer being used, however, a few more applications are advisable. A maximum of two applications per month during the Dipladenia’s growing season is enough. 

These plants should only be fed during their growing period. After they stop flowering, Dipladenias go into a period of dormancy.

During this time, the plant is not actively growing and will not be able to make use of the plant food. Feeding the plant when it cannot make use of the food can harm it. Unused fertilizer will likely burn the roots of your Dipladenia. 

 

Growth

This plant grows upwards to a point then changes and grows downwards. They are bushy, shrub-like plants that can be grown as annuals or perennials. They have funnel-shaped flowers and glossy, dark green foliage. Flowers bloom on and off throughout the year but the plant is evergreen.

These tropical vines grow to form a bushy, shrub-like plant. They have dark green, glossy foliage which grows along wandering stems. Dipladenias are classified as annual and perennial plants.

In unfavorably cold climates, these plants are generally overwintered. 

In climates where they can be grown as perennials, Dipladenias are evergreen. They are flowering plants. They are known to flower on and off throughout the year.

When in season, the Dipladenia’s blooms appear as delicate funnel-shaped accessories. These flowers appear in a range of colors. The colors you can expect to see the beautiful flowers bloom in are white, red, and pink. 

Dipladenias have an interesting habit of growth. At first, they grow upright until they reach a certain height. Once this height has been reached, their vines begin to grow downwards. This unique habit makes them ideal candidates for hanging baskets, planters, or on the edge of raised garden beds.  

It is difficult to measure exactly how large these plants can grow because of their habit of growth. It is known, however, that when grown with an aid they can reach up to 16.4 feet (5 meters) high.

 

Potting

These plants should be repotted annually in the spring. They grow well in containers such as pots and hanging baskets. When repotting, only increase the container size by one. An oversized pot will lead to the plant spending more energy on growing roots than producing flowers. 

Due to their temperature preferences, Dipladenias are best grown in pots. This makes it easy to move them around as needed. Either move them out of the harsh sun or bring them indoors to protect against the cold. 

These plants grow well in a variety of containers. This is due to their upwards and downwards habit of growth. From regular pots to hanging baskets, and even planters, these plants look great! 

You will know it is time to repot your Dipladenia when you see its roots begin to grow out the bottom of its pot. Typically, you can expect to repot your plant annually. As with most plants, it is best to repot the Dipladenia in the spring. 

The new pot you choose for your Dipladenia should be just one size bigger than the current pot.

Repotting this plant in an overly big container will result in it using more energy to grow roots. This will result in your plant not flowering as it typically would. 

 

Pruning

These plants are fairly low maintenance. Pinch back new growth to encourage bushier regrowth. When needed, remove dead or damaged leaves. Trimming may also be needed occasionally to maintain a desired shape or size. 

Dipladenias are low-maintenance plants when it comes to their pruning needs. They do not require much attention to look their best.

Generally, simply pinching back new growth will be enough to keep your Dipladenia looking in tip-top shape. This will also encourage your plant to grow back bushier

Occasionally, some trimming may need to be done to keep the plant at a desired shape or size. Dead or damaged leaves should be removed as and when necessary. 

 

Dipladenia Propagation

Propagating this plant is best done using vine cuttings. Take a cutting from a healthy, mature plant. Remove lower leaves, rinse, and allow to dry. Plant the cutting in a free-draining potting mix. Keep the newly planted cutting in a bright, warm spot with moist soil until roots have developed. 

Dipladenias are one of the easiest plants to propagate. The best way to propagate a Dipladenia is through vine cuttings. The process is simple and typically successful.  

Using a pair of sharp, clean gardening shears, take a cutting from a healthy, mature plant. Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the vine cutting. If necessary, rinse the cutting to remove any dripping sap. Allow for the cut part of the vine to dry then plant it in a pot of well-draining potting mix. 

Place your newly planted cutting in a warm spot with an adequate amount of light. Whilst the cutting develops roots, its soil should be kept moist. This is best done by lightly misting the soil. Once the Dipladenia cutting has developed roots, you can care for it as you would a full-grown plant. 

 

Common problems with Dipladenia

With proper care and maintenance, Dipladenias rarely suffer from many pests or disease problems. The most common disease to be contracted by these plants is root rot.

The contraction of root rot is more than likely the result of an error in care. Incorrect soil, not enough drainage, or overwatering are all possible causes for root rot. 

Unfortunately, these plants are known to draw the attention of spider mites and aphids. These pests are easily dealt with, however. Simply wipe your Dipladenias leaves gently with a cotton swob and neem oil. Insecticides can also be used successfully against these pests. 

 

Frequently asked questions about Dipladenia

 

Are Dipladenia plants toxic?

Yes, these plants are considered to be toxic for both humans and pets. It is best to keep them away from curious children and animals. 

 

What are the best Dipladenia varieties? 

There are many beautiful types of Dipladenias available. The most popular varieties, however, include the Rio White, Cream Pink, and Opal Citrine. 

Conclusion

Dipladenias are tropical, evergreen beauties. Although they can be slightly more demanding where their care requirements are concerned, they are worth the effort!

When in bloom, these plants bring a unique kind of elegance to an area. And, with their alternative growing habit, they draw all the attention to themselves.