Give your garden tropical punch with bright Sun Parasol blooms.
Name: Mandevilla Sun Parasol
Color: Crimson, dark red, pink, and white
Hardiness: Zones 9–11. Top growth typically killed by frosts in Zone 8, but plants come back from roots in spring.
Plant type: Tender perennial or annual
Size: 10–15 feet tall, 2–3 feet wide
Exposure: Full sun
These beauties outfit a yard with sizzling summer color.
Flowers: Trumpet-shape blooms unfurl 2–3 inches wide. Sun Parasol Giants open 3–5 inches across.
Use: For vertical color, tuck this natural climber into a 3- to 4-foot trellis in a 12-inch planter. Pair mandevilla with a trailing vine in a large 15-inch hanging basket. Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Needs: Plants flower best in full sun. In hottest zones, midday shade is a bonus. Vines grow most vigorously in the heat of summer; growth slows as temperatures drop.
Planting: Use one plant per 10–12-inch flowerpot. In planting beds, space plants 18–24 inches apart.
Soil: Mandevilla prefers well-drained soil. In containers, choose a soilless mix containing slow-release fertilizer and water-retention polymers.
Watering: Keep soil consistently moist for steady flowering. If soil dries out for a short time, plant growth will revive, but flowerbuds may drop.
Fertilizing: You can fuel mandevilla’s vigorous growth and flowering with frequent feedings, every 14–21 days. Use a bloom booster fertilizer to increase flower numbers.
Overwintering: In cold climates at least four weeks before frost, give plants a high-phosphorous fertilizer. Three weeks later, trim plants to 12 inches above soil. Bring plants indoors before temperatures tumble into the mid-40s. Place plants by a bright window through winter, watering enough to keep leaves from shriveling. Move plants outside in spring, trimming lanky winter growth.
Consider these other tropical plants for a spectacular summer show.
Majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis)
Hardy in Zones 9–11, where palms can reach 40 feet tall and 6–8 feet wide.
Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Landscape plants grow to 6–8 feet tall. Hardy in Zones 9–10.
Canna (Canna x generalis ‘Tropicanna’)
Hardy in Zones 7–11. Full sun and ample water yield best growth (4–6 feet tall, 9–12 inches wide).