Caring for Your Dipladenia Plant Through the Winter

The beautiful blooms of dipladenia, also known as mandevilla, are a staple in summertime patio containers and garden beds. But when cold weather strikes, special winter care is needed to ensure these tropical plants survive until spring. Taking the right steps to overwinter your dipladenia properly will allow you to enjoy its twining vines and showy flowers year after year.

In this comprehensive guide we’ll explore the best practices for protecting and storing dipladenia plants through the winter chill. Follow these tips to see your precious dipladenia not just survive winter but thrive into the next growing season and beyond.

Options for Overwintering Dipladenia

There are three main options for overwintering dipladenia plants:

Grow as a Houseplant

  • Bring pots indoors before first frost
  • Place in sunny south or west window
  • Water when top inch of soil is dry
  • Remove any dead leaves
  • Resume fertilizing in late winter

Cool & Dark Dormancy

  • Move to unheated garage or basement before frost
  • Keep temps above freezing but cool
  • Water occasionally to prevent full drying
  • Prune back stems to 12 inches
  • Bring out in early spring

Dig Up & Store Bulbs

  • Not true bulbs, but tubers can be dug up
  • Allow foliage to die back after frost
  • Carefully dig up tubers
  • Store in cool dark place; bag with perlite
  • Replant in spring after danger of frost

The easiest but most space-intensive method is growing dipladenia as a houseplant over winter. For small plants, this usually works well indoors. The cool dormancy approach takes less effort but plants may struggle if conditions aren’t ideal. Storing the tubers requires more labor but less space.

Key Tips for Overwintering as a Houseplant

If you choose to overwinter your dipladenia plant indoors. follow these tips

  • Check for pests/diseases and quarantine before moving inside.
  • Prune back any long vines or large growth to manage size.
  • Select a pot that fits available space with drainage holes.
  • Use fresh sterile potting mix suitable for indoor plants.
  • Place in the sunniest window possible – south or southwest exposure.
  • Remove any leaves that yellow or drop to prevent disease spread.
  • Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
  • Hold off on fertilizing until late winter or when new growth emerges.
  • Monitor for pests like whiteflies, aphids, or fungus gnats.
  • Mist leaves occasionally to increase humidity around the plant.
  • Keep away from drafts of hot or cold air.

With the right care, dipladenia will continue growing through the winter months indoors, ready for transplanting back outside the following spring once danger of frost has passed. Just be sure to transition it slowly to avoid shock.

Tips for Cool & Dark Dormant Overwintering

To overwinter your dipladenia plant through dormancy, follow these key tips:

  • Select an unheated, frost-free location like a garage or basement.
  • Prune back stems radically to around 12 inches in late fall.
  • Check thoroughly for any pest or disease issues before moving indoors.
  • Water occasionally, only when soil is partly dry, to prevent desiccation.
  • Ideal dormancy temperature range is 40-50°F – cool but above freezing.
  • Store dormant plants away from sunlight in this cool location.
  • Transition plant slowly back into sunlight and warmer temps in early spring.
  • Resume regular watering as plant breaks dormancy in spring.
  • Transplant outdoors after the last frost date has safely passed.

This method requires less effort than growing as a houseplant but plants may lose vigor or even die if not monitored properly through an inactive dormancy period.

Storing Dipladenia Tubers Over Winter

Here are tips for successfully storing dipladenia tubers over winter:

  • Allow plants to die back after first hard frost in fall.
  • Carefully dig up tubers once foliage has completely died.
  • Shake or rinse off any remaining soil but don’t damage the tubers.
  • Sort and discard any soft, damaged, or diseased tubers.
  • Allow tubers to further cure for 1-2 weeks in a dry, warm location.
  • Place healthy tubers in breathable mesh bags with perlite.
  • Store bags of tubers in a cool (40-50°F), dark place.
  • Check occasionally and remove any rotting tubers.
  • In early spring, plant stored tubers in pots or garden beds.
  • Water and fertilize to spur fast regrowth after dormancy.

This method can be more labor intensive but allows you to store just the tubers, not whole plants. Take care not to damage tubers when digging or cleaning.

General Winter Care Tips

Here are some key tips to remember for winter care of dipladenia:

  • Protect from frost and freezing temperatures. Prolonged exposure will kill plants.
  • Prune back long vines or overgrown plants before storage.
  • Check closely for pests and diseases before bringing plants indoors.
  • Reduce watering frequency but don’t allow plants to completely dry out.
  • Stop fertilizing and limit repotting when dormant. Resume fertilizing in spring.
  • Provide bright light if growing actively as a houseplant over winter.
  • Make sure dormant plants in storage are not exposed to light.
  • Transition dormant plants slowly back into sunlight and normal care in spring.
  • When repotting or moving outside, use fresh sterile potting mix and clean containers.

Follow these guidelines carefully and your dipladenia plant should thrive year after year even through cold winter months. A little extra care will go a long way!

Common Problems and Troubleshooting

Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to address them:

  • Leaf drop: Some leaf loss is normal during transition. But excessive dropping can indicate pests, overwatering, or other stressors.

  • Failure to thrive: If plant declines despite proper care, it may indicate tuber rot or other issues. Discard plants that fail to recover.

  • Tuber rot: Dark, softened tubers indicate rot. Immediately remove and discard any affected tubers to prevent spread.

  • Pests: Most common are aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whitefly. Isolate and treat any infested plants before bringing indoors.

  • Mold or mildew: Can occur in cool, humid conditions. Improve air circulation around plants. Treat with neem oil if severe.

Catch any issues early and adjust care to get plants thriving again. Discard any that don’t recover to prevent diseases from spreading.

Overwintering Dipladenia: Key Takeaways

  • Dipladenia can overwinter indoors, in dormancy, or by storing tubers.
  • Prune back, check for pests, use fresh mix and pots when potting up.
  • Water less but don’t let plants completely dry out.
  • Ideal dormant temperatures are 40-50°F.
  • Provide bright light for indoor care; keep dormant plants in darkness.
  • Watch for leaf drop, failure to thrive, tuber rot, and pests.
  • Slowly transition plants out of dormancy in early spring.

With the right winter care, your dipladenia will return healthy and vigorous for another season of spectacular blooms when spring arrives. Just be sure to choose the best overwintering method for your needs and provide attentive care throughout the cold weather months. Do that and your beloved dipladenia will thrive winter after winter in your garden spaces.

Wintering Over Mandevilla & Dipaldenia


Can I keep a Dipladenia over the winter?

A: Dipladenia, and its close relative mandevilla, can both be wintered successfully indoors and then returned outdoors next spring. We enjoy wintering several each year, and they aren’t difficult if given full, direct, bright sunshine in front of a large, sunny window.

How do you winterize Dipladenia?

They suggest keeping the vine outside until it gets cool and then moving it into a cool garage or basement that maintains a winter temperature above freezing, about 10C or 50F . If trying this method, you should cut the plant back hard to about 12 inches.

How do you care for potted Dipladenia?

Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water. Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot.

Leave a Comment