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Mandevilla Varieties and Climbing Aids

Only large, pre-grown mandevilla / dipladenia are suitable for facade greening. FassadenGrün offers a large range of this type, with flowers in many colours. How to choose? While the initial selection is often based on the flower colour, the vigour of the growth is also very important. For every mandevilla, we indicate its growth type: S, M, L or XL, some of which require climbing aids. You may find additional information on mandevilla under "general information" and "planting / care."

Flower Colours

Red is considered the classic mandevilla colour. Pink and white, and all their intermediate shades, are also very common. The yellow center provides some variety, as the sepals and calyx of almost all mandevilla are yellow! The completely yellow mandevilla is a relatively new creation.

Growth Habit

Mandevilla / dipladenia are twining vines with a slow to moderate growth speed. The distance between leaf pairs ("internodes") is large, the flowers rather scattered. This is where breeding began. For decades, attempts have been made to increase flower density/closeness. Another practice is the treatment of the mandevilla with chemical upsetting agents (growth inhibitors). The plants "doped" in this way won't develop long shoots but take on the desired compact form. For walls, trellises, and railings, however, the long twining shoots are just as or more interesting than the compact form! FassadenGrün has both in its assortment. The growth groups S, M, L and XL (analogous to clothing sizes) are described below and should help with your selection. These groups do not describe the mandevilla's size on delivery, but its expected eventual growth size in length and volume.

Suitable cable systems?

Click on the image to see which designs are adapted as a climbing aid for mandevillas.

Growth Type "S": Compressed

About 90% of all mandevilla sold are treated with growth inhibitors and have a compressed and very stocky growth, so they hardly form any tendrilous shoots. We have described such mandevilla as "growth type S" (small). Most of them are planted as small "tufts" for the greening of graves, terraces, and balcony boxes. This type of mandevilla forms only flowers and hardly grows: in May it measures about 20 cm, in October about 30 - 40 cm. Such a 'tuft' isn't capable of covering larger wall surfaces, neither from a planter/pot nor as a trellis plant; for this reason, Fassadengrün doesn't sell them.

Mandevilla as a small tuft/cluster

Growth Type "M": Compact

Some mandevilla are treated with growth inhibitors but are a little larger, around 60 - 80 cm in height. Even so, they still won't grow very high before autumn-- at most to about 1 - 1.2 metres in shoot length, which corresponds to a medium size for a mandevilla. We have named this group "growth type M" ("medium"). Mandevillas of the "M" group usually have thin, graceful shoots and small to medium-sized, smooth and shiny leaves. The clusters of flowers are relatively densely arranged. They are sold with a variety of climbing aids: "double arch," "pyramid," or "fan trellis" designs. In terms of climbing plants, these are considered "shaped shrubs," even if the plants do not become lignified at all. Such specimens are interesting for façade greening, particularly as "displays" next to house entrances, shops, practices, law offices, etc.. 

Mandevilla as a small pyramid

Growth Type "L": Twining Vines

The mandevilla of this group 'L" grow larger than those of the S or M groups. These mandevilla will have shoots about twice to three times as long as when delivered by the end of autumn and will display a natural, looping growth. These plants are not repeatedly treated with growth inhibitors; they grow to about 2 m shoot length until the end of August, and even 2.5 m until autumn. They are therefore ideal for small wall trellises. Mandevillas from the "L" group have very thin, delicate shoots and small to medium-sized, smooth and shiny leaves. The flower clusters are relatively densely arranged; the single flowers last for about 10 days (except for the yellow variety "Citrine"). Mandevilla of this group "L" do not necessarily have to be attached to a facade trellis or railing, as they can also be cultivated like the "M" group as bushes by using a standing pyramid trellis or a similar support (where the looping shoots are wound downwards on the bamboo sticks).

Twining mandevilla on a trellis

Growth Type XL: Vigorous Twiner

The growth group "XL" (extra large) refers to the exceptional mandevilla varieties with particularly vigorous and high growth. That might sound risky, but there is not the same 'strong twining' and corresponding risk for the building as there might be with wisteria or silver lace vine! These mandevilla plants are NOT treated with growth inhibitors and will grow up to 4 metres in height by the end of August and even up to 5 meters by autumn. They grow quickly above windows and doors and have remarkably large, more or less ribbed, shiny leaves. The flower clusters are further apart than with the S group or the M group, and overall flower density is less. Individual flowers in this group last for quite a long time-- from 10 to 16 days. To improve the flower density, some varieties are sold as 2 plants per pot-- this will be indicated in the product description.

 

You can buy XL mandevillas as a bamboo pyramid. The strong shoots are then led directly to the wall trellis or the balcony railing from the top of the pyramid. Alternatively, the pyramids can also be used as "stands" (similar to growth group M), such that the mandevilla grows as a small bush; then the shoots can be manually wound downwards around the rods of the pyramid.

Vigorous growth, twining mandevilla on a lightning conductor

Climbing Aids on Facades

Mandevilla have several shoots, but they tend to not branch a lot. The supporting trellis should be chosen in accordance with the growth type of the mandevilla. The growth types S ("compressed" / small) and M ("compact" / medium) don't need a support, whereas the L and XL types benefit from vertical cables. The axes need to be no more than 15 - 25 cm apart to have the vegetation be dense enough. Further apart and the mandevilla will take the form of vertical flower garlands/strands. Ropes, railings, grids of any kind, as well as thin rods are all suitable as climbing aids. The shoots are first attached on the outside or wrapped around the rope counterclockwise and, if necessary, tied with binding material. The plant will soon grow upwards in a looping manner. The height of the trellis should be adapted to the expected growth height. For growth type "M" -- max. 2.5 m; for growth type "XL" -- 3 m or more. Look to the bottom of the page for the appropriate cable systems. The easy and light versions are solid enough. The medium-premium or medium-classic are visually the most appealing designs for the plants. As the twining shoots will not climb and attach to a horizontal access by themselves, they need help and will have to be tied.

Suitable Cable Systems for Mandevilla L and XL

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable         = sometimes suitable        = not suitable