Apartment plants

Dipladenia - Mandevilla splendens


Generalitа


Climbing evergreen plant native to Central and South America. The thin and fleshy stems grow rapidly, this plant is grown in hanging pots, or as a climber, helped by racks or guardians. The leaves are oval, dark, glossy, thick, slightly pubescent on the underside; in spring and summer it produces a cascade of large trumpet flowers, gathered in racemes, delicately scented, red, pink or white, with a lemon yellow throat. In places with mild winters they can also be grown in the open ground in the garden, or they can also be treated as annual garden plants. It is advisable to lightly prune the branches in the early spring or autumn, to prevent the plant lignifying too much on the lower part, losing its leaves. It is also known as mandevilla splendens.

Exposure



The Mandevilla Splendens likes very bright locations, even sunny, but it also grows well in partial shade. If placed in a completely shaded place it produces few flowers and many leaves. Fears frost, should not be exposed to temperatures below 5-8 ° C, so in summer it can be placed in the garden or on the terrace, but it must be immediately withdrawn into the house with the arrival of autumn cold. In places where winter is mild it is also cultivated in the open ground; in this case with the cold it loses the leaves, which will re-emerge in spring; in the ground it can reach even sizes over 3-4 meters.

GENERALITY'Substrate Normal, rich and well drainedExposure Bright, no direct lightIrrigation Abundant without stagnation, it requires vaporisationsFertilizer Every 10 days during floweringAvversitа Mites, cochineal, root rotMinimum temperature 8-10 ° CIdeal temperature 21 ° Cwatering


It does not require large amounts of water and easily withstands short periods of drought; water regularly, leaving the substratum to dry between one watering and another. Water sporadically in winter. For a better flowering of the mandevilla splendens it is recommended to provide fertilizer for flowering plants every 8-10 days in the vegetative period, from March to October, and at least once a month in winter.

Cultivation


Their bearing, as we have said, is mostly climbing or at most decombant. They must therefore be cultivated in pots (or directly in the open ground), but giving them the possibility of holding on to a support with tendrils. Great it can be a bow, a net or a trellis. They can also be kept in vases (quite large) and cascaded down in the manner of surfines.

Ground


The mandevilla splendens prefers loose, well-drained soils, very rich in organic matter. An optimal mixture can be prepared by mixing balanced universal soil and sand in equal parts, with a small dose of humus.

Multiplication


It occurs by cuttings, in spring or summer, using 7-10 cm twigs; the rooting of the cuttings is usually rapid motion, about 3-4 weeks, the seedlings thus obtained can immediately be treated as adult plants, placing them in a single container. The fastest method to obtain new plants is undoubtedly the cutting.
A semi-woody branch about 8 cm long, at the height of a knot, must be cut without creating fraying and with a disinfected scissors. The basal leaves must be eliminated and must be sprinkled with a rooting product in powder or liquid.
It is then necessary to insert it in a half transparent plastic bottle (to which drainage holes have been previously made on the bottom) filled with a very light substrate (the ideal is sand, peat and agriperlite in equal parts) which must be kept constantly humid. The whole is to be covered with a transparent bag and kept at a temperature of about 25 ° C in the shade. Usually the cutting will begin to vegetate in about a month. Thanks to the transparent bottle we can control the development of the roots.
When the plant releases the first leaves we will be allowed to remove the plastic cap and wait for a good root development and then move it to a final container with a richer substrate.

Dipladenia pruning



Dipladenia is a vegetable that flowers substantially on new branches, therefore those grown in the year. It is therefore good to proceed with a good pruning every autumn, before withdrawing the plant.
We must cut the very low branches, about 5 cm from the ground. This will allow the plant not to waste energy during the cold season and will avoid the possible onset of mold.
In spring, the plant will again reject and we will have a rich, luxuriant plant with copious blooms.




















Pests and diseases dipladenia


Sometimes these plants are attacked by mites, aphids and cochineal. Dipladenias are very resistant plants and are rarely victims of insects or pests.
It can happen that they are attacked by mites, especially if they are exposed to direct sunlight and in an environment that is too dry. In this case it is useful to move the plant to a less exposed and warm area and increase the environmental humidity. It is also advantageous, especially if the plant is supported on a paved surface which is noticeably warm during the afternoon, raise it a few centimeters so that it does not come into full contact with the surface and therefore prevent the heat from being transmitted to the container and to the substrate overheating it . The last ratio is certainly the use of acaricides.
They can also be attacked by the cochineal, especially if the exposure is too shady. If the attack is light, insects can be removed with alcohol-soaked cotton sticks. Otherwise, a systemic insecticide should be distributed and perhaps a mineral oil.

Treatment



For a good care of the plant of Dipladenia it is very important to use a slow release fertilizer, in the specific doses of 30 grams per decalitre of soil. Although the plant by itself does not require particular attention, it is important to keep the soil always moist, especially during the summer, and to proceed with frequent pruning as it is a climbing plant, it is advisable to cut the twigs at least in early spring and autumn, to prevent it from lignifying too much in the lower part, losing leaves and weakening. It must never be exposed to temperatures below 5 ° C.
Through these simple and easy tricks a splendid flowering of the plant will be favored: only if the plant is placed in a completely shaded place, it is destined to produce few flowers, offset by a rich presence of leaves.

Temperatures


As we have said, they are plants coming from the tropical rain forests. Therefore, to obtain good results, try to reproduce the conditions of the environment of origin to the maximum.
The ideal exposure will therefore be the partial shade: they must certainly be placed in a well-lit place, but not with direct light: this could burn the leaves and make the flowers last much less.
They must also be protected from currents and wind that could compromise their growth and make the flowers abort.
The ideal temperature for flowering is around 20 ° C. However, they do not usually have problems with higher temperatures as long as the right exposure is respected.
In winter they must be collected in practically all over the peninsula since they do not tolerate temperatures below 8 ° C. However, it is ideal to keep them around 13 ° C. Let us remember that they need to go into vegetative rest during the bad season. It is therefore good to keep them around that temperature and not at higher temperatures (those that are in the apartments in winter). If we do not follow this advice, we will risk seeing very few flowers in the spring. It is therefore right to keep them in a cold greenhouse or in a little or no heated environment.

Substrate


In this respect they are not particularly demanding plants. They want a good substrate composed of garden soil, sand and peat in equal parts. If we want we can add some handful of seasoned manure or some granular fertilizer for flowering plants.
What is certainly necessary is a thick draining layer at the bottom of the container. We will therefore have to prepare at least 2 cm (but this depends on the size of the plant and the relative size of the vessel) of gravel, earthenware or expanded clay pearls.

Repotting



They are pretty fast growing plants. They should therefore be repotted at least every two years or when the roots are seen to emerge from the drainage holes or from the surface.
It is an operation to be carried out in autumn or at the end of winter, before the vegetative restart.
It is good to gradually increase the size of the container and each time to lightly tick the roots to remove any "felted" portions and stimulate the growth of new and healthy ones.
If our plants were kept in the ground it is better to wait for night temperatures of around 10 ° C to be reached to proceed with the removal, cleaning of the root and insertion in containers for wintering in a cool room.

Irrigation


Dipladenia needs a constantly moist, but not soaked substrate. It is therefore necessary, during the period of activity, to irrigate regularly without however exaggerating and making sure that the excess water is optimally drained through the drain holes.
Being a plant coming from the rain forests it needs besides a strong atmospheric humidity, on pain of scarce flowering and the deterioration of the leaves. It is therefore necessary to engage several times a day (especially in the hottest periods) with abundant vaporization of the vegetation. It is also excellent to place the container on a saucer filled with expanded clay and kept always wet (but without the water coming to the drain holes). In this way the evaporating liquid will keep the right degree of humidity around the specimen.
We can also engage several times a day by wetting the floor around the plant (especially if it is a paving that is easily heated) obtaining the same result.
In winter the watering will be very thin. The ideal is to keep the substratum just damp and eventually do some vaporization if the heating of our house makes the air very dry.

Composting



Like all very floriferous plants it needs important and continuous fertilizations. You can proceed in different ways.
A good option is to prepare a basic fertilizer by mixing a few handfuls of slow release granular fertilizer for flowering plants to the soil. The same (if that year we do not proceed to repotting) can be distributed on the surface and then slightly buried. Usually the administration should be repeated every three months (but it is always good to follow the manufacturer's instructions).
There are also excellent sticks to be inserted into the soil that worked in a similar way to granular fertilizer.
In the last resort, it is also possible to use a liquid fertilizer with a high potassium content. You can administer it in a single solution every ten days or add it very diluted in daily irrigation.
Many fertilizers have the option of foliar administration, which usually gives excellent and immediate results. In this case it can really be an interesting alternative since the plant frequently needs spraying.

Dipladenia varieties


DIPLADENIA SANDERI of Brazilian origin, it produces large pink flowers and has large leathery oval leaves.
DIPLADENIA BOLIVIENSIS is native to Bolivia and Ecuador. The stems are woody and branched. It produces abundant small white flowers with a yellow throat.
DIPLADENIA SPENDENS produces magnificent inflorescences composed of 4-6 pink flowers with a yellow throat. It is a very vigorous species.
NOCIVITА: the whole plant is poisonous. It is therefore necessary to pay the utmost attention to children and pets. We must also consider that the sap can cause skin irritation, so it is better when we proceed with pruning or repotting using waterproof gloves.

Dipladenia with yellow leaves



Being dipladenia a tropical plant it can happen that the climate and the environment in which these plants are grown at our latitudes is not really ideal and one of the main consequences of an environment not suitable for dipladenia is leaf yellowing. Dipladenia plants with yellow leaves can be found for various reasons.
One of the main reasons that causes leaf yellowing is incorrect irrigation. Dipladenia may have leaves that turn yellow either because too much water has been given, or because too little is given. Another possible cause that causes this plant to have yellow leaves is wrong exposure. A place where there is too little light can be the cause of insufficient photosynthesis and therefore of a progressive leaf yellowing.
Other possible causes that lead the plant to have yellow leaves may be related to the soil and to the presence or absence of nutrients in it. Especially in the cultivation of potted plants in fact there may be problems related to the lack of essential nutrients for plant growth, such as macro and microelements.
A useful precaution to prevent the leaves of our dipladenie grown in pots from turning yellow is to carry out repotting once every 2-3 years. Repotting is essential to replace the soil of the plant and go to renew the soil with a greater amount of organic substance.

Dipladenia - Mandevilla splendens: Dipladenia in winter


Unless you live in an area with a Mediterranean climate with very mild winters, dipladenia is a plant that in winter could have many problems if some simple precautions are not taken. First of all the dipladenia is a plant that suffers very much from the cold of the winter months therefore in areas with a continental climate it will be difficult to make this species survive. Secondly, since the dipladenia is a plant of tropical origin, it will be essential to guarantee the plant a high number of hours of light, even by intervening with artificial light should it be necessary.
Without adequate light and temperatures, dipladenia has very little chance of surviving in winter.
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WORK CALENDAR
May --- OctoberFlowering, irrigation, vaporization, fertilization
OCTOBERCollection in cold greenhouse, pruning
October to AprilKeep the substrate and the environment slightly damp
APRILrepotting