Dipladenia is one of my favorite plants because of its tropical origins. It’s a great indoor plant and can be grown outdoors in the right climate. It hails from South American tropical rainforests and is hardy enough to grow outside of its ideal tropical zone. In zones 9-11, Dipladenia is an evergreen bush. In zone 8, it dies back but will regrow each year.
Dipladenia is sometimes confused with Mandevilla, and they are quite similar. It belongs to the Mandevilla family, but it grows in a bushier manner. Typical Mandevilla plants are more of a leggy vine.
Dipladenia is a real easy plant to grow either in containers or in the ground outdoors if you’re in the right climate. In warm climates, it keeps its leaves year round and will erupt in trumpet shaped flowers of pink, white, yellow and red. Some fast facts about Dipladenia:
- Latin name: Dipladenia
- Native to: South America
- Invasiveness: Not known to be invasive
- Tenderness: Perennial
- Sun: Full sun or part sun
- Water: Weekly
- Soil: High tolerance for most types of soil
- Hardiness zone: 8-11
- Spacing: 12 inches
- Plant height: 12-24 inches
- Bloom period: Summer
- Container friendly: Yes
- Fertilizer: 10-30-20
- Toxicity: Non-Toxic
- Deer resistant: Yes
- Pest resistant: Minimal pest issues
Dipladenia is not known to be invasive, so you can feel comfortable planting it outside of its native range. It grows in hardiness zones 8 through 11, but is not evergreen in zone 8. It should receive full sun but can tolerate part sun and needs water weekly. It can handle nearly any type of soil but enjoys well-draining soil the most. It blooms in summer, can be grown in a container indoors and outdoors, and is not known to be toxic. Still, it is not edible, so you shouldn’t eat it.
With any plant, it is best to water frequently when it’s been recently planted and isn’t established yet. Once established, you can water Dipladenia once a week. If you live in an especially arid environment, like southern California or Arizona, you may want to water more frequently and mist the plant daily to simulate tropical conditions.
Dipladenia can tolerate a lot of abuse when it comes to its growing conditions and sunlight is no different. It prefers full sun but will get along fine if it’s partially shaded for periods of the day. Strive for a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
This plant is in no way picky about its soil. It’s not known to do well in soil that are high in salts and it definitely needs well-draining soil, but you don’t have to work very hard to keep this plant happy with its soil.
Dipladenia needs to be fertilized with extra nutrients during its summer flowering period but otherwise doesn’t need any fertilizer. It’s best to use a high-phosphorus bloom enhancing fertilizer, like 10-30-20, to aid in its bountiful summertime blooms.
When planting anything outside of its native range, you run the risk of it doing a little too well and becoming invasive. This plant is native to tropical rainforests in South America, but is not known to be invasive outside of its native range. Always plant non-native plants with care.
Growing Dipladenia in containers
Dipladenia can tolerate being grown in a container. It makes a good hanging basket where the long, spindly branches can hang down. You can also use a trellis to help keep the plant upright if its in a ground-based container. A 30 inch minimum is appropriate for container growing Dipladenia.
Care & tips
Dipladenia is no fuss and easy for beginner gardeners. Plant it in a pot, keep it in a sunny spot, water about once a week (allowing the soil to dry some between waterings) and let nature take its course. If you want a thicker looking plant, you can cut back new growth, promoting more base-level growth. You can stake or trellis these plants.
Dipladenia is a tough-as-nails plant to grow. It can fall victim to leaf spots, fusarium rot, botrytis blight, and southern wilt. Be careful not to overwater this plant and, while it isn’t particularly susceptible to pests, keep an eye on it for unwanted bugs.
Propagating new Dipladenia plants is so simple. They can be easily propagated through cuttings. Simply take four to six inches of green stem, cut it, dip it in rooting hormone, and stick in moist potting soil or vermiculite. It’s advised that you do this with several cuttings as they may not all root and survive.
Uses for Dipladenia
Dipladenia has no known uses other than aesthetic. Your local pollinators will make good use of it, though, frequently visiting its summer blooms. This plant is not toxic but it also isn’t edible, so don’t try eating it.
History of Dipladenia
Dipladenia gets its name from the Greek language, namely diploos (double) and aden (gland) due to the flowers containing two ovaries. It’s family name, Mandevilla, is named after Henry John Mandeville, a British foreign minister who is responsible for introducing the plant outside of South America beginning in the 1830s.
Dipladenia is one of those plants that I can’t get enough of. The glossy evergreen leaves, the big, beautiful summertime foliage – it really is one for the books, and your garden!