Growing A Dipladenia Plant – Learn The Difference Between Dipladenia And Mandevilla

Growing A Dipladenia Plant – Learn The Difference Between Dipladenia And Mandevilla

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Tropical plants have a special place in my heart. My gardening zone is not at all sultry, warm and humid, but it doesn’t stop me from purchasing a bougainvillea or other tropical plant for outdoor use. The plants thrive in summer but have to be moved indoors in the cooler season. Dipladenia, a favorite, is a South American native that grows in tropical forests. The plant is similar to mandevilla vine and works outside in warm zones, or indoors as an accent houseplant. We will discuss the difference between dipladenia and mandevilla so you can decide which of these amazing flowering vines is the best option for your garden.

Mandevilla or Dipladenia

Dipladenia is in the Mandevilla family but has a decidedly different growth pattern. Mandevilla vines climb up vertical structures to seek the canopy light. Dipladenia is a bushier plant whose stems grow down and hang.

The two plants have similar brightly colored flowers, but mandevilla has a larger flower typically in red. Both plants need the same bright light and dipladenia care is the same as that for the mandevilla vine.

When deciding between a mandevilla or dipladenia, the finer leaves and smaller flowers in a wide range of colors may win the day for the dipladenia.

Dipladenia Facts

Dipladenia has a fuller shape than the mandevilla. A major difference between dipladenia and mandevilla is the foliage. Dipladenia leaves are fine and pointed, deeply green and slightly glossy.

Mandevilla vine has larger leaves with a broader shape. The flowers are trumpet shaped and full in hues of pink, white, yellow and red. The plants respond well to pinching as they grow, which forces out new bushier growth. Unlike the mandevilla, dipladenia doesn’t send out as much upward growth and doesn’t need staking.

One of the better dipladenia facts is its ability to attract hummingbirds and bees. The tubular flowers are a vibrant signal to pollinators as ample suppliers of nectar.

Growing a Dipladenia Plant

This plant requires warm temperatures for best performance. Nighttime temperatures should remain around 65 to 70 F. (18-21 C.).

Water the plant frequently in the summer but let the top few inches of the soil dry out before watering anew. The plant can go in the ground in warmer areas or stay in a pot.

Bright but indirect sun is a requirement for growing a dipladenia plant. The best flowers are formed in a well lit area.

Pinch off gangly growth when the plant is young to force thicker stronger branches. The only difference between mandevilla and dipladenia care is that mandevillas require a trellis or staking. Dipladenia only needs a stake to keep the little plant straight as it matures.

Fertilize every three to four weeks during the growing season with a liquid plant food as part of good dipladenia care. Overwinter indoors or in a greenhouse and suspend fertilizing in winter.

With a little luck, even northern gardeners can keep the plant growing indoors until the heat of summer arrives.

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Read more about Mandevilla

Mandevilla and dipladenia, magnificent sisters

Mandevilla – some species of which are called Dipladenia – are remarkable climbing shrub vines.

Main facts about Mandevilla and Dipladenia

NameMandevilla species
FamilyApocynceae or dogbane
Type – shrub, climbing vine

Height – 10 feet long or tall (3 meters)
Exposure – well-lit
Soil – well-drained

Flowering – June to October
Foliage – evergreen

Care for both Mandevilla and Dipladenia is almost identical. From planting to pruning and including watering, they should give you magnificent flowers in summer!

1. Where can I put my mandevilla?

Before we start talking about the pruning of dipladenia or mandevilla, let’s first see where you can place it. In general, it is adapted to be cultivated in various ways, such as shrub, hanging, trellis, arched, etc.

Depending on the climatic conditions, it can be grown as an indoor or outdoor plant. If you place it indoors, find a place near a window, where it will have a few hours of sun exposure. At the same time, it prevents the foliage from coming into contact with the glass, as this could burn its leaves.

Mandevilla or dipladenia

When winter comes, avoid leaving it near any heater. And since heating generally reduces the humidity in the room, it is good that you place a container of water near the dipladenia. It also tries to protect it from drafts that produce strong temperature variations.

And in areas with mild winters, it can be grown excellently as an outdoor plant. It is best to place it near a structure that allows it to climb. It can be a wall, railings, fences or other trees. Try to find a place where it has many hours of sun, this will favor a good flowering.

As a last tip on the location of this beautiful strain, I must say that if it is going to share a sector with other plants, it is good that have plants with similar characteristics. This is so that the needs are similar, or at least compatible, both in need of irrigation, type of soil, etc.

In colder climates, interested individuals must make sure to bring their dipladenias indoors to prevent them from being exposure to temperatures of 50 F or lower. Generally speaking, dipladenias will slow down to some extent while overwintering, which is why there is no need for fertilizing during this period. However, they still need plenty of sunlight as well as enough water to keep them from drying out to the point of dying.

About The Author

Heather Evans

Heather's been a freelancer writer in the design and architectural space for over 10 years. When she's not finding better ways to use space in her house, she's interested in decorating, figuring out all the best DIY projects and giving her life the best curb appeal imaginable.


The most common pests are mealybugs, scales, whiteflies and red spider mites.

The symptoms of anthracnose (Colletotrichum species) are tan to brown spots on foliage, which may be followed by chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves) and leaf drop. Disease problems may become worse with extended leaf wetness. Clean up fallen and attached diseased leaves and dispose of foliage in the trash. Sprays with chlorothalonil (Daconil) will protect foliage from further disease. Joey Williamson, ©2021 HGIC, Clemson Extension

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.

Original Author(s)

Marjan Kluepfel, Former HGIC Horticulture Information Specialist, Clemson University
Bob Polomski, PhD, Associate Extension Specialist, Clemson University

Revisions by:

Joey Williamson, PhD, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University

This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.

Diseases and common issues related to mandevilla

Mandevilla leaves turn yellow most often when they were exposed to the cold or to lack of water.

  • Protect your mandevillas from drafts and regularly spray water on their leaves.

If a cottony white substance starts covering leaves, a scale insect colony has appeared..

Mandevilla can also be colonized by mites and ticks such as red spider mites.