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Hibernating the Mandevilla
Hibernating the Mandevilla is a real sport, and it is not meant for everyone. It is very difficult, but certainly possible, as we do nothing but in our nurseries. It is, of course, dependent of the possibilities you have.
As a general rule; the more light a plant is exposed to when hibernating, the bigger the chances are of succeeding. During hibernation the Mandevilla has to go into rest. Follow these steps to successfully bring the plant into hibernation.
Stap 1: Prune back the plant
The Mandevilla has been growing well in the garden. To model the plant a bit more into shape coming spring, it is recommended to prune back the plant. Remove long branches, but make sure that green leaves stay in place. Do this at the end of September or the beginning of October on a dry day with calm weather. It is best to do this in the morning, so the pruning cuts are able to dry during the day.
Stap 2: Keep the root ball of the plant lightly moisturized
The root ball of the plant should be lightly moisturized. It is important that the root ball is not too wet, as this can cause the root to rot! If the root ball of the Mandevilla is still too wet, it is better to postpone placing the plant inside. The plant will find itself in an environment where it needs a lot less moisture. Part of the roots will stop working and eventually die off, in a humid environment this will rot.
Stap 3: Placement of the plant
The most important factors to take into consideration when placing the plant are light and temperature. In an ideal situation you could place the plant in a hobby-greenhouse or a cold conservatory with a temperature of 10-12 degrees Celsius. Another option is to place the plant behind a window in an attic, but it is very important that the temperature does not become too high. The less light the plant is exposed to, the lower the temperature should be.
If the plant hibernates in temperatures under 5 degrees Celsius, leaves may fall out. This does not have to be a problem. If you can find green meristems or ‘eyes’ on the branches, the plant will survive.
Stap 4: Nursery during hibernation
Provide the plant with water during hibernation, but keep it limited to prevent rotting of the roots. About a shot glass every one or two weeks should suffice, depending on the size of the plant. Make sure that the potting soil is lightly moist or dry.
Stap 5: Outside again!
Around April the plant can go outside again! Beware: if night-time temperatures drop below 3 degrees Celsius, it is better to keep your plant inside a little bit longer. If you put the plant outside, it is best to place it in a bigger pot with plants with fresh potting soil and nutrition. This way, the Mandevilla will recover its roots faster and the plant can start growing again. The blooming of the Mandevilla will be long in coming. The plant first has to create new branches and after this the buds will form. The plant will probably show the first flowers at the end of June.
Do you have a heated greenhouse at your disposal? Then it is best to prune the plant into shape a little bit. If you also keep the root ball slightly more moisturized, the plant could start showing the first flowers as early as May.
Remember that it is very difficult to hibernate the plant. It is understandable if it does not work, as you are very dependent of the possibilities your house and environment offers. You can always try it again the next year with a new plant. We hope that in any case, we have provided enough information, so the chances of succeeding are as high as possible. The real zealot can try to take their own cutting. You can read more about this in our blog cuttings.
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