Gardeners appreciate mandevilla vines (Mandevilla splendens) for their ability to climb up trellises and garden walls quickly and easily. The climbing vine can cover a backyard eyesores quickly and beautifully. But using mandevilla vines for ground covers is also a good idea. The vine scrambles over a slope as fast as it climbs a trellis, and it can quickly cover a rise or a knoll where it is difficult to plant grass. Read on for information about using mandevilla vines for ground covers.
Mandevilla Ground Cover Info
The same qualities that make mandevilla an excellent climbing vine also make it great ground cover. Using mandevilla as a ground cover works well since the foliage is dense and the flowers attractive. The leathery vine leaves – up to 8 inches long – are dark forest green, and they contrast beautifully with the bright pink flowers.
The blossoms appear in early spring, and the mandevilla vine continues flowering prolifically through fall. You can find cultivars that offer blossoms in different sizes and colors, including white and red.
Rapid growth is another wonderful trait of the vine that suggests using mandevilla as a ground cover. Mandevilla survives the winter in US Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and 10, but gardeners in colder climates treat mandevilla as an annual. They plant mandevilla ground cover in early spring and enjoy its rapid growth and prolific flowers through the first frost.
Since mandevilla vines require a trellis or other support in order to climb, you can use mandevilla vines for ground covers simply by planting the vine on a slope without a climbing support. The plant will still grow to 15 feet, but instead of heading up vertically, it will spread foliage and flowers across the ground.
Caring for Mandevilla Vines as Ground Covers
If you are thinking of using mandevilla vines for ground covers, plant the vine in direct sun or light shade. Be sure that the soil drains well and offer the mandevilla regular irrigation. Keep the soil evenly moist. Do not allow it to get overly wet or to dry out completely.
Caring for mandevilla vines includes offering the plant fertilizer. For best results, feed your mandevilla with fertilizer that has more phosphorus than nitrogen or potassium. Alternatively, add bone meal to regular fertilizer to increase the phosphorus content.