Growing Dipladenia Flowers: Caring For The Mandevilla Relative

Dipladenia (dip-la-Dee-nia), a part of the Apocynaceae family, is a flowering plant that thrives in pots, the ground, and hanging baskets and is known for its bushy foliage and trumpet-shaped flowers.

Dipladenia is a South American species that thrive in tropical jungles. However, its tropical origin requires temperatures of at least 68° degrees Fahrenheit to thrive.

Growing DipladeniaPin

As a result, Dipladenia is most successful in zones 10 and 11, but they’re adaptable and can be brought indoors to overwinter in other zones.

The name comes from the Greek words “diploos” (double) and “aden” (gland), referring to the ovary’s two glands.

Dipladenia Often Confused With Mandevilla

Dipladenia is often confused with the Mandevilla plant. While there are some significant similarities, there are notable differences. 

  • Dipladenia has smooth, glossy leaves with a more shrub-like appearance.
  • On the other hand, Mandevilla has thinner, longer textured leaves with a less bushy look and resembles a vine.
  • The blossoms of both plants are similar, although Dipladenia blooms are often smaller.
  • Dipladenia grows into a smaller bush that doesn’t vertically grow until trained and can’t climb the same height as Mandevilla.
  • These flowering plants can grow inside containers or as trellis-crawling plants outside. 

While Dipladenia doesn’t have any common names, there are a few popular varieties:

  • Rio Dipladenia 
  • Dipladenia Sundeville
  • Costa Del Sol
  • Stars and Stripes
  • Fire
  • Ice Fury

Quick Facts On Dipladenia

  • Family:  Apocynaceae
  • Light: Full sun to part shade
  • Temperature: Above 68° degrees Fahrenheit to thrive
  • Water: When the top layer of potting soil is dry
  • Fertilizer: Weak fertilizer semi-monthly
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Common Problems: Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs

Dipladenia Care

How Big Do Dipladenia Plants Grow?

Dipladenia plants grow from 12″ to 24″ inches and are best planted 8″ to 12″ inches apart in flower beds. However, Dipladenia plants will climb up to 8′ feet or more if trained! 

Moreover, regular trimming will keep the plant at a consistent size. 

When Do Rio Dipladenia Plants Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

Dipladenia plants flower from March to November.

Therefore, it’s essential to take care of your Dipladenia plant after the blooming season is complete so that the plant will bloom the following spring.

They produce a very light, soft, or faint fragrance. 

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

Dipladenia thrives in full sun and requires 6 to 8 hours of sunshine daily, so make sure your container or planting spot meets its lighting needs. 

Make sure the temperature does not drop below 60° degrees Fahrenheit in your area if you plan on placing it outside.

The plants thrive at 65° to 72° degrees Fahrenheit, with a 50% to 60% percent humidity level.

Because Dipladenia is a tropical plant, it does not survive freezing temperatures.

Therefore, if you reside in a cold-winter climate, consider Dipladenia like an exotic annual or bring it indoors during the winter.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Rio Dipladenia?

Your Dipladenia plant requires a decent amount of water during the early phases of growth and blossoming

However, once established, watering every 8 to 10 days is sufficient. 

The plants require more water when the summer temperatures rise. However, ensure that the top few inches of soil are dry before watering.

Waiting until the top level of the soil is dry will prevent you from accidentally overwatering, which causes root rot.

What Is The Best Soil For Dipladenia And When Should You Transplant?

Dipladenia plants prefer loamy or sandy soil with good drainage. The optimal pH range is 6.6 to 7.8, but the plants can grow in soils slightly outside this range.

After all risk of frost has gone, transplant nursery-grown seedlings into the soil in the spring for enormous, beautiful blooms by midsummer.

If you’ve bought a small trellis plant and want to transplant it to a larger pot, keeping the root collar as intact as possible (where the stem joins the roots) is essential. 

Give the plant a good morning soaking before transplanting later in the day, and then give it another water once it’s transplanted successfully.

Tease apart any encircling roots in the larger container to encourage them to grow into the surrounding soil.

Dipladenia can last a long period in the same pot. Therefore, they may not need transplanted because they tolerate being pot-bound.

However, annual or biannual transplanting is necessary to keep your Dipladenia looking its best. 

Do Dipladenias Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

Remove all wilted flowers regularly to encourage flowering. Limiting fruit formation will encourage fresh flowers.

Prune your Dipladenia plant in the early spring to encourage blooming. 

If you have your Dipladenia plants in containers, lightly prune them during repotting. 

How To Propagate Dipladenia Flowers?

When handling and propagating Dipladenia, wear gloves since the stems contain a milky white sap that can cause skin irritation.

Even though it is deemed nontoxic, it is usually best kept away from pets and small children.

The first step to propagation is to cut a 4- to a 6-inch piece from the plant’s green, flexible tip (avoid the older, wood-like section of the stem).

Then, stick it in moist, well-draining potting mix or vermiculite after dipping it in rooting hormone.

The alternative approach is to propagate via a layering technique, which allows the parent plant to feed the new plant all its nutrients while growing. 

Here’s what to do:

  • Leave the stem attached for this procedure, but cut halfway through it with a knife, making a notch around 9” inches below the tip (you don’t want to break the stem completely, so coil it or twist it until it fractures). 
  • Apply rooting hormone to the cut area and bury the notched section in the same soil or a different pot next to the original.
  • You can set a stone on top of the soil to keep notched and buried stem in place.
  • Disconnect the new plant once it has rooted—and there you have it!

You’ve acquired a new Dipladenia.

Dipladenia Plants Pests And Diseases

Although Dipladenia is not a very difficult crop regarding insects and illnesses, it is nonetheless sensitive to a few.

For example, aphids might appear seemingly out of nowhere in the top growth zones.

In addition, spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs can cause malformation if the plant is grown dry.

Apply an insecticide should you notice any of those pesky pests.

Soft white scale also affects Dipladenias, although it goes away quickly with the proper treatment. 

Suggested Uses For Dipladenia 

They work well as an interior ornamental plant or as a garden accent for container gardening in direct sunlight or full sun.

Hummingbirds and bees love it because of its brilliant hues.

The Costa del Sol variety is an excellent plant for providing color to sunny decks, patios, balconies, and other outdoor settings because it flowers so profusely.

This Dipladenia plant looks stunning on a trellis, fence, or mailbox. The plant grows well in pots, landscape beds, and borders.