Dipladenia and mandevilla are often thought to be the same plants, and for good reason – they look very similar.
Both plants produce beautiful, showy flowers in varying shades of pink, red and white, depending on the variety. These flowers are often trumpet-shaped and look similar to hibiscus blossoms.
But technically they’re not exactly the same. Want to know how to tell them apart? We’ve got everything you need to know…
What’s the Difference Between Dipladenia & Mandevilla?
Besides looking very similar, dipladenia and mandevilla are part of the same genus – the Mandevilla genus. Since the early 1900’s, the larger varieties were called Mandevilla, while the smaller, bush-like ones were called Dipladenia. Today they are all classified into the same genus which includes nearly 200 hundreds tropical species and hybrids.
While they might look the same, there are a few ways to tell these two plants apart. Dipladenia has finer, pointed leaves that are dark green and slightly glossy, while mandevilla plants have broader, larger leaves. Another difference is the growth pattern – dipladenia has a fuller shape and looks more like a shrub, although you can train dipladenia to grow vertically. On the other hand, mandevilla vines love to climb, can grow up to 20 feet or more. Lastly, dipladenia plants tend to have smaller flowers.
While dipladenia and mandevilla plants are not the same, they both have the same requirements for care and growth. They are also both vining plants and perform well in containers and hanging baskets. These plants are easy to grow and tend to flower throughout the full season.
How To Grow Dipladenia
Dipladenia performs best in full sun and requires between six and eight hours of direct sunlight per day, so be sure to locate your container accordingly. Make sure that you plant your dipladenia bush in sandy, well-draining soil that has plenty of organic material mixed into it.
Unlike a lot of other flowering plants, dipladenia is able to tolerate some dryness and continue to produce flowers. However, they do prefer a consistent level of moisture, so do try to keep the soil damp but not wet.
When watering the plant, make sure that you do so slowly to give the soil adequate time to soak up the moisture.
As mentioned, dipladenia plants require a great deal of sun, so try to locate your plant in full sun. Once established, ensure that you water the plant frequently, particularly during summer. However, let the top few inches of soil dry between each watering.
Pinch off any leggy growth when your plant is still young, as this will promote the growth of thicker, stronger branches. If possible, try to provide your dipladenia with a stake for support as it matures. Fertilise your plant every three to four weeks during the growing season. A liquid plant food is best as it penetrates deep into the soil.
How To Care For Dipladenia
Dipladenia plants are wonderfully easy to care for as long as they receive the full sunlight they require. Once established, only water them once the top layers of soil have dried. Be sure to cut them back when required.
How To Overwinter Dipladenia
There are three simple ways you can overwinter dipladenia.
First, you can take cuttings of between four and six inches in length. Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone and stick it into a well-drained potting mix to allow it to root. Once rooted, you can grow it just like you would a houseplant.
A second method for overwintering your dipladenia bush is by moving the entire plant indoors and placing it in front of a sunny window. Remember to water it thoroughly when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Finally, you can simply store the plant in a cool, dark location and water it just often enough to prevent the roots from drying out.
How To Propagate Dipladenia
It is easiest to propagate dipladenia with cuttings. Begin by cutting four to six inches of the plant below a leaf node. Remove the buds and leaves from the lower part of the cuttings and then dip the shoots into a rooting powder before placing them in your potting medium.
Next, water and cover your plant with a light permeable plastic – you could also make use of a plastic bag with holes in it as this will help to prevent mould.
Place the pot where it will receive plenty of sun. Within a month or two, you can expect to see new roots.
Common Dipladenia Questions
Is Dipladenia an annual or a perennial?
Dipladenia plants are perennials. They will grow back in areas with warmer winters that don’t experience frost.
Is Dipladenia a climbing plant?
Mandevilla plants tend to climb. Dipladenia, on the other hand, is slightly bushier. The plant’s stems grow down and hang.
How much sun does a Dipladenia need?
A dipladenia plant needs full sun in order to grow and to thrive. It’s recommended that you locate your plant somewhere that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
How do you take care of Dipladenia in winter?
If possible, keep your dipladenia plant indoors in winter and locate it close to a window that receives full sunlight all day. Your dipladenia bush only needs watering when the top two inches of soil have dried. While the foliage may die, the plant will begin to flower again during spring.
How often should I water my Dipladenia ?
In the initial stages of growth and flowering, your dipladenia plant needs sufficient water. Once established, watering every eight to 10 days is sufficient. In summer, the plant should be watered more frequently.
How fast does Dipladenia grow?
Dipladenia is not a fast-growing plant but the time and effort spent into getting the plant to grow is well worth it.
As another means of telling the difference between dipladenia and mandevilla, avid gardeners will note that the latter, with its long, winding vines, grows much faster. However, once established, your dipladenia bush will start to grow, and will flower constantly during the warmer seasons.
Now you know the difference between the two, you can plant dipladenia bush and mandevilla vines, and enjoy the stunning flowers they both produce.