Dipladenia - Apocynaceae family - How to care for and grow Dipladenia plants
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Dipladenia sthey are evergreen climbers particularly appreciated for their foliage, for the colorful and abundant blooms and for the extreme ease of cultivation.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Dipladenia belonging to family ofApocynaceaeit includes evergreen climbing plants with a herbaceous or shrubby habit originating from the South American jungle where they reach up to 10 m in height. In consideration of this fact, there are not many species suitable to be kept in an apartment unless there is a lot of space available.
They are highly prized for their foliage characterized by leaves opposite, smooth of a more or less intense green color and often leathery consistency and for the flowers funnel-shaped white, pink or red depending on the species that bloom abundantly throughout the summer and autumn, slightly scented.
They are often used to decorate pergolas, arches or trellises.
There are numerous species used for ornamental purposes among which we remember:
DIPLADENIA BOLIVIENSIS (MANDEVILLA BOLIVIENSIS)
It is a climbing species which, as the name implies, is native above all to Bolivia but also to Ecuador. It has a very branched woody stem and confounds with tapered, glossy apexes and a beautiful intense green color 5-10cm long.
From mid-summer it produces white flowers gathered in inflorescences, characterized by an orange-yellow throat, fragrant, but not particularly large, in fact they do not exceed 5 cm in length.
DIPLADENIA SANDERI (MANDEVILLA SANDERI)
Originally from Brazil, it has oval, pointed leaves, bright green on the upper page and dark green on the lower one, leathery and shiny. The flowers are more or less intense pink and up to 7 cm long.
DIPLADENIA SPLENDENS (MANDEVILLA SPLENDENS)
Very vigorous climbing species that has younger stems covered with a light down. The leaves are oval of a very intense green color, large (up to 20 cm long and 10 cm wide). The flowers are white or red depending on the variety and each single flower lasts from 3 to 4 days.
DIPLADENIA LAXA (MANDEVILLA SUAVEOLENS or MANDEVILLA TWEEDIANA)
It is a vigorous climber with a woody stem. The leaves are oval, glossy, of an intense green color on the upper page and red-gray green on the lower one, 5-10 cm long with pointed apexes. It blooms from summer to autumn, producing tubular flowers, gathered in racemic inflorescences, white in color, 5-9 cm wide.
It is commonly known as chile jasmine.
In consideration of the fact that it is a climbing plant, needs support to have an orderly bearing. A rod or an intertwining of iron wires is enough to anchor it and allow it in this way to be able to express all its beauty.
The temperatures optimal cultivation must not drop below 12 ° C during the winter period while it does not have major problems for maximum temperatures (21 ° C are the optimal summer temperatures).
In the winter period it comes in vegetative rest therefore it is important to ensure temperatures around 13 ° C during this period, otherwise it will not bloom the following year.
An important aspect, given that they are native to the jungle, is that they do not need environments humid therefore it is necessary to ensure a good environmental humidity.
They love the light and theair but direct sun and drafts should be avoided.
The soil must remain constantly moist throughout the active growth period, i.e. during the spring and summer (not soaked). During the autumn and winter, water enough to keep the soil barely moist.
As much as the watering, the environmental humidity is important, which must be maintained both with frequent nebulizations to the foliage and by arranging the pot in a saucer containing expanded clay (or other material) where there will be water which evaporating will ensure a humid environment (pay attention that the bottom of the vasonon is in contact with water).
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
Repotting is done every two years, in early spring.
Use a soil based on fertile soil, peat and coarse sand and make sure to place a thick layer of pieces of earthenware on the bottom of the pot in order to ensure perfect drainage of the watering water.
Starting from spring and throughout the summer, use a liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water, slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is indicated in the package. It is preferable to use a complete fertilizer that is to say that in addition to containing nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus it also has minor elements equally important for the growth of the plant such as magnesium, manganese, iron, boron, copper, zinc, molybdenum .
It blooms profusely during the summer and it is important during this period to ensure that temperatures do not drop below 18 ° C.
For these plants it is necessary to do a real pruning in autumn, when the flowering is finished by drastically cutting all the new branches of the year to 5 cm from the base. This operation is important as it stimulates the plant to produce new branches the following year and therefore to have a more luxuriant and compact habit.
They multiply by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In spring, from the branches of the year, cuttings about 7 cm long are taken with an oblique cut that will guarantee both a greater surface for rooting and prevent water from accumulating on this surface. Be careful to use a well sharpened, clean and disinfected blade as on the one hand it is important not to have frayed fabrics, on the other hand it will avoid transmitting any parasitic diseases.
After removing the lower leaves from the cutting, sprinkle the surface with rhizogenic hormones, i.e. hormones that favor the emission of the roots and settle in a pot (or in a multiplication box) you will have to previously prepared a mixture of soil formed by peat and coarse sand in equal parts.
After planting the cutting, moisten the soil abundantly taking care not to wet the cutting but only the soil.
Once the pot is ready, it is closed with a transparent plastic sheet or with a bag, always transparent, put on a cap (if you do not have a multiplication box) that will be kept away from the cutting by arranging the sticks vertically (see photo to the side).
Place the prepared pot in an area of the house where it is possible to have temperatures around 24-27 ° C and not too bright.
Every day, for a few minutes, remove the plastic both to control the humidity of the soil and to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic.
You will realize that the cutting has taken root because you will see that new shoots will start to appear. As soon as this happens, remove the plastic permanently, wait for the cutting to have strengthened and after that you can place it in the final pot and treat it as if it were an adult.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The main pathologies that we can encounter are:
The leaves remain hanging
This symptom, which we can observe especially during the winter, is an indication of too low a temperature.
Remedies: immediately move the plant to a warmer place.
and leaves have brown spots
Brown spots on the leaves could mean either that it has recently been watered or has been exposed to direct sun.
Remedies: make an analysis on how you raised the plant and adjust accordingly.
The leaves turn yellow and are covered with small dark dots
This symptom, associated with the presence of thin cobwebs especially on the lower page of the leaves, indicates that an infestation due to the red spider is underway, an acaroche can become very harmful if not promptly intervened.
Remedies: the main remedy is to increase the humidity around the plant as it is the dry air that favors its proliferation. However, if the infection is particularly serious, it is necessary to intervene with specific acaricides available in centers specialized in gardening.
Presence of white and cottony patches
This symptom very clearly indicates that we are in the presence of cottony (or floury) cochineal. These are very harmful insects located mainly in the axil of the leaves and on the underside that must be eliminated quickly.
Remedies: they can be removed using a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol or if the infestation is too extensive use a specific insecticide available in specialized gardening centers.
The name Dipladenia comes from the Greek diplos "Double" e aden"Gland" due to the presence of two glands in the ovary while the name Mandevillait was given in honor of John Henry Mandeville (1773–1861), British consul in Buenos Aires and great botanist who introduced the Mandevilla to Europe.
Contact with lymph can cause skin irritation.