Tropical vines offer loads of fun for gardeners who love vigorous growers with brightly colored blooms all summer. You just have to be willing to say goodbye to them at the first sign of frost.
My new favorite is a pink vine called Mandevilla ‘Alice DuPont.’ Along with tons of hot-pink blooms, you get glossy green foliage that should stay attractive even during the dog days of summer. The large leaves are slightly leathery to the touch.
These photos are from my trip to Provincetown.
‘Alice DuPont’ was growing up and down the walls of the cottage we stayed in. This is one plant that’s definitely on my list for next spring.
Native to Brazil, this vine is a real climber that loves lattice structures and pergolas. Try it near a doorway so you can appreciate the exotic bell-shaped flowers up close.
Like most other tropicals, Mandevilla wants full sun and well-drained soil that’s not allowed to dry out completely between waterings. If it’s in a container, fertilize it every two to three weeks in summer.
People with curious pets or small children should avoid Mandevilla because parts of the vine are poisonous if ingested.
If you’ve got the space, try bringing containers with Mandevilla vine indoors for the winter. It won’t bloom unless it’s in a sunroom, but you should be able to at least nurture it through the cold weather until you can get it back outdoors next spring.
You can also try letting the vine go dormant in a basement or garage; just don’t leave it where temperatures dip below freezing.