As with most plants I write about, these Sun Parasol mandevilla hybrids need well-drained soil to survive. This is one of the reasons that these containers and baskets are so healthy and picturesque. If we prepare our landscape soil to make it organic-rich, we can duplicate the results in the containers.
For best blooming, you will want your mandevilla to receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Since it is such a vigorous vine and flower producer, it needs small doses of fertilizer every two to three weeks.
In containers or baskets that get watered every day fertilization is mandatory. Frequently, dilute applications of a water-soluble fertilizer like a 20-20-20 to keep the plants at peak performance. Be sure to maintain moisture during the hot, dry times of the summer. A prolonged period without water may prove fatal to the plant.
The Sun Parasol mandevilla is the perfect plant to get you started growing vertically in the garden. Sure, you can grow it on the street side mailbox, but why not also grow up on a Victorian tower, a lamp post, a lattice trellis, or the classic white picket fence. Can you just imagine the look of a Saba or St. Bart’s Caribbean Cottage?
We have a lot of hot growing season to go and if your landscape could use some pizzazz from tropical color then get to the garden center quickly for the Sun Parasol mandevilla.
(Norman Winter, horticulturist, garden speaker and author of, “Tough-as-Nails Flowers for the South” and “Captivating Combinations: Color and Style in the Garden.” Follow him on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy.)