How to care for a dipladenia

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The dipladenia plant, also known as a mandevilla, is a native of South America. The vining plant is an excellent container or hanging-basket plant with large glossy leaves and funnel-shaped pink, red or white blooms. Give it the proper care and you can enjoy it inside or outside your home throughout the year.

Place the dipladenia in a sunny location. It grows best in a location that receives at least a half day to a full day's worth of sunlight.

Water and mist the plant more often in March to October. As the plant is sensitive to overwatering, water the plant only when the soil begins to dry. To test the soil, place your hand in it. If it's beginning to dry, wait three days before applying tepid water. Misting is important because the plant is semi-tropical and enjoys extra humidity. Therefore, mist the plant when you water it. Water the plant less often, or every two weeks, in the months when it's dormant from November to February. Always water the plant from the top, removing any excess water from the drainage trays.

Feed the plant with a balanced 20-20-20 (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) mix of water-soluble fertiliser every two weeks from late February to mid-September or once a month in other months.

Prune the plant's shoots back within 5 cm (2 inches) of the plant's woody stems or hard wood in October after the flowers stop growing. The plant can be pruned in February as well before new growth begins. Finger prune any wilted blossoms in the summer months. Repot the plant only if you see the roots growing out of the drainage holes of the plant's container.

Propagate cuttings in early summer from new growth. Root the cuttings and transplant the rooted plants in a well-drained soil mixture, such as 1/2 part potting soil, 1/4 part peat moss and 1/4 part sand.