Brazilian Dipladenia is known for its beautiful, trumpet-shaped flowers and long, glossy leaves. Because it is usually grown in tropical and subtropical climates, the plant can be prone to frostbite during the colder months of the year if grown in areas with moderate temperatures. So how should you winterize and cut back Dipladenia? We’ve been looking into the best way to do this. In this post, we will share it with you.
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Overwintering Dipladenia: care in autumn
You can start preparing your Dipladenia for winter by pruning it back in the fall. Pruning back prepares your Dipladenia well for winter and also gets it into a more compact and space-saving shape. If you don’t have a lot of space indoors, this is a great advantage. Pruning involves shortening the plant by a third in both height and width.
Bring the plant in from outside
The first thing you need to do is dig up your Dipladenia plant from your garden. To do this, take a shovel and carefully dig up the plant by the roots without damaging it. It’s best to outline the circumference of the plant with the shovel beforehand so you know how big the root ball should be (this will also determine the best size for your pot).
Repotting in a pot
Next, repot the plant into a brand new pot. Be sure to shake off any excess soil from the root ball so that the plant will fit comfortably in the new pot. Now place the plant in the pot and fill the bottom of the pot with about two inches of high quality soil. Leave about 2.5 to 5 inches between the edge of the pot and the top layer of soil. Make sure the soil is well-drained.
How to prune the Dipladenia
It is always best to prune the plant before you put it up for the winter. To do this, cut back the tendrils a few inches and remove all dead branches and leaves. Remember that the plant grows slowly during the winter months. So you shouldn’t prune it too much, as this can stunt its growth in the spring. It is usually sufficient to prune the plant back to about 9 to 12 inches.
- Wash and disinfect a pair of hand pruners in a solution of one part chlorine bleach and nine parts water.
- Cut off new growth at the tips of the almandevilla stems to force branching so the plant grows bushier and more compact.
- Cut back long, uncontrolled stems to the desired length, pruning about 0.5 inch above a leaf base.
- Remove dead, diseased and broken mandevilla stems. Cut just above a healthy leaf base or to the branch junction with the parent stem.
- Cut diseased stems about 10 inches outside the diseased area to ensure the problem is completely eliminated. Disinfect pruning shears immediately after cutting and discard diseased material.
- Cut back all Dipladenia stems to the ground in winter when the vines are extremely matted or overgrown. This type of pruning may seem drastic at first, but the plant will resprout in the spring and bloom the same year.
Note: Keep in mind that when you prune the Dipladenia or pin back the branches, a little sap will come out. This milky white sap is toxic and can be quite irritating to the skin. Therefore, wear plastic or rubber gloves when pruning the plant and always wash your hands and disinfect your pruning tools afterwards.
Take care of any pests.
After you prune the plant, give it a quick inspection for pests. You may have noticed pests during the pruning process. If there is an infestation, you should treat the plant with neem oil or another suitable pest control product as needed. Look for small black, brown or white spots on the underside of the leaves as well as holes in the leaves. You can also wipe the plant with rubbing alcohol or briefly rinse with lukewarm water if the infestation is minor.
Overwintering Dipladenia in the right location
To properly overwinter your Dipladenia, you need an ideal location, the right approach and proper care during the cold season. We will address all of these points in the following sections. Whether on the balcony or in the garden – outside it gets too cold for Dipladenia in winter. That’s why you need to bring the climbing plant into a warm place as early as autumn to overwinter it in a pot. The ideal winter quarters is a cold house, for example, a frost-free greenhouse or a cold winter garden. Here the plant gets enough light and the temperatures are not too warm.
Suboptimal winter quarters for your Dipladenia would be in the warm apartment, for example in the living room, or in the dark basement. If the plant is too warm in the winter, it may not bloom the next year. The temperature in the basement or garage is right, but it is too dark for the sunny plant. Wintering here is possible only with a plant lamp.
How to care for the plant in winter
After pruning, the Dipladenia is ready for its winter quarters. There it should stand as bright as possible and at a constant temperature between 8 and 10 ° C. Do not fertilize in winter. Water the plant only moderately and as needed, when the top layer of the substrate has dried. To ensure comfortable humidity, spray your plant regularly with a spray bottle. Unfortunately, your Dipladenia provides an ideal home for pests such as mealybugs (Pseudococcidae), spider mites (Tetranychidae) and scale insects (Coccoidea) during the winter. In order to detect infestations early enough and react accordingly, you should check the plant regularly. If the Dipladenia has survived the winter well, it should not be overwintered prematurely. Put it back outdoors in May at the earliest, when temperatures are consistently above 8°C.
Tip: It is not uncommon for your Dipladenia to lose its leaves over the winter. In spring, these should grow back and the plant will sprout again.