Clearing Up the Confusion: Are Dipladenia and Mandevilla the Same Plant?

Tropical plants have a special place in my heart. Even though it’s not hot, sticky, or sultry where I garden, that doesn’t stop me from buying a bougainvillea or some other tropical plant to use outside. The plants thrive in summer but have to be moved indoors in the cooler season. Dipladenia, a favorite, is a South American native that grows in tropical forests.

It looks a lot like the mandevilla vine and can be grown outside in warm areas or as an accent plant inside. The difference between dipladenia and mandevilla will help you choose which of these beautiful flowering vines is best for your garden.

Dipladenia is in the Mandevilla family but has a decidedly different growth pattern. Mandevilla vines climb up vertical structures to seek the canopy light. Dipladenia is a bushier plant whose stems grow down and hang.

The two plants have similar brightly colored flowers, but mandevilla has a larger flower typically in red. Both plants need bright light, and the care for dipladenia and mandevilla vine is the same. If you have to choose between a mandevilla and a dipladenia, the dipladenia might be the better choice because it has finer leaves and smaller flowers in more colors.

Dipladenia has a fuller shape than the mandevilla. A major difference between dipladenia and mandevilla is the foliage. Dipladenia leaves are fine and pointed, deeply green and slightly glossy. Mandevilla vine has larger leaves with a broader shape. The flowers are trumpet shaped and full in hues of pink, white, yellow and red.

The plants respond well to pinching as they grow, which forces out new bushier growth. Unlike the mandevilla, dipladenia doesnt send out as much upward growth and doesnt need staking. One of the better dipladenia facts is its ability to attract hummingbirds and bees. The tubular flowers are a vibrant signal to pollinators as ample suppliers of nectar.

Dipladenia and mandevilla are two tropical vines that are prized for their abundant trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of red, pink, white, and yellow They are commonly grown as summer annuals or houseplants. But there is often confusion about whether dipladenia and mandevilla are actually different plants or just two names for the same flowering vine Let’s examine the similarities and differences to determine if dipladenia and mandevilla are the same.

Botanical Classifications

From a botanical perspective, dipladenia and mandevilla belong to the same genus Mandevilla. Dipladenia was previously classified as its own genus, but was later merged into the mandevilla genus. So technically speaking dipladenia plants are part of the mandevilla group. However, there are still some notable differences between the two varieties.

Appearance and Growth Habit

While dipladenia and mandevilla both have shiny, oval-shaped leaves and trumpet flowers, there are some visual differences:

  • Leaf size – Dipladenia leaves are generally smaller and more delicate looking. Mandevilla has broad, wider leaves.

  • Growth habit – Dipladenia has more of a bushy, spreading habit, while mandevilla is a vining plant that climbs trellises.

  • Flowers – Mandevilla blooms are usually larger than dipladenia blooms.

So while somewhat similar, dipladenia and mandevilla have distinct appearances and habits. Mandevilla is clearly a climbing vine, while dipladenia has a more shrub-like shape.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Both dipladenia and mandevilla thrive in hot, humid conditions. They require:

  • Full sun
  • Warm temperatures, ideally above 65°F
  • Moist, well-draining soil
  • Average to high humidity

While they share ideal growing requirements, mandevilla is more tolerant of slightly cooler temps than dipladenia.

Bloom Season and Colors

During the warm season, both dipladenia and mandevilla bloom continuously if grown in appropriate conditions. They produce flowers from spring through fall.

Flower colors include:

  • Dipladenia – pink, red, white, yellow, orange
  • Mandevilla – red, pink, white, yellow

So dipladenia offers a broader color palette, especially with orange shades. The red mandevilla blooms are especially vivid.

Uses in the Landscape

Dipladenia and mandevilla work well in hanging baskets, containers, and garden beds in warm climates:

  • Mandevilla makes an excellent climbing vine that can be trained onto trellises, arbors, fences, etc. Its vining habit fits a vertical space.

  • Dipladenia has a lower, bushier habit that spills gracefully out of containers and over garden edges. It works better in a horizontal space.

Overwintering and Propagation

For gardeners in cooler climates, both vines need to be overwintered indoors and propagated each spring. Propagation is done through tip cuttings. Overwintering extends their lifespan so you can enjoy these fast-growing vines for many years as houseplants and outdoor seasonal plants.

similarities & Differences Summary

Growing a Dipladenia Plant

This plant requires warm temperatures for best performance. Nighttime temperatures should remain around 65 to 70 F. (18-21 C). In the summer, water the plant often, but wait until the top few inches of soil are dry before giving it more water.

Dipladenia vs. Mandevilla

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