Mandevilla is vine and a climbing plant that prospers best outdoors in warm climates. There are a number of different mandevilla varieties that may exhibit stunning trumpet-like flowers in pink, white, or yellow. Henry Mandeville, a British diplomat with a penchant for gardening, was honored with the mandevilla vine being named after him.
Mandeville likely discovered the mandevilla when he was serving diplomatic missions in Argentina. Horticulturalists suggest the vines were first grown in South America, and often suggest Brazil as their mother country.
In colder climates the mandevilla is often not grown into trained vines, but instead makes an attractive houseplant. Frosts tend to reduce the plant to bare roots, so most gardeners in colder areas may keep the mandevilla outside in pots, during warmer weather, and then bring it indoors to weather the winter months.
When grown in warmer climates, the mandevilla can be impressively tall, reaching heights over 10 feet (3.04m). Some cross-species may produce vines twice as high. The leaves are described as somewhat dimpled and dark green, and are evergreens in warm climates. They can also boast widths of four inches (10.16cm).
The flowers of the mandevilla tend to bloom in waves throughout the summer, and may bloom more throughout the year in tropical climates. Unopened flowers appear thin and pointed. When the blooms open, they have a deep gold center, and the flowers may equal the width of the leaves. A few varieties of mandevilla produce scented flowers.
Mandevilla prospers well in the US in areas like Florida, the Deep South, and in Southern California. If left outside in colder areas, such as Northern California, it tends to die back each year. All is not lost, however. With spring, the plant will usually begin to sprout again.
As a houseplant, mandevilla will stay green throughout the year. Improper lighting may mean failure to produce the lovely blossoms. Thus a mandevilla benefits from direct light. In a properly constructed greenhouse, the plant is likely to produce the most flowers, and thus can be enjoyed by gardeners who live in colder climates. Efforts are also being made to produce a more winter-hardy variant.