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How to Prune a Mandevilla Plant [4 Quick Steps]

Prune your mandevilla at the beginning of spring or the end of winter before the plant begins to grow new stems. Pruning after the plant begins producing new growth can reduce that season’s buds, so be careful to avoid pruning too late. When pruning a new mandevilla, reduce the plant to 3–5 of the healthiest stems immediately after planting. If there’s only one stem, trim it back by a third. Use sharp, bypass hand pruners: anvil-type devices often fail to make a good, clean cut.

How to prune mandevilla

Do You Need to Prune a Mandevilla?

Mandevilla plants need to be pruned each year. These vines are vigorous climbers and sometimes reach as long as 20 feet (6 meters) during one season. If allowed to grow unchecked, they often become somewhat wild and begin to develop an unkempt appearance.

  • Prune your mandevilla vines at least once per year
  • Mandevillas are healthier and stronger if pruned regularly.

Pruning not only encourages your mandevilla to grow healthier and fuller, but it also promotes flower production. You’ll get a lot more blossoms per season if you prune your mandevilla annually.

4 Steps to Prune Your Mandevilla Plant

Pruning is an essential aspect of caring for vigorous, healthy mandevilla vines. In this way, you are encouraging your vines to grow more flowers and new stems on a regular basis. Follow these four steps to prune your mandevilla plant successfully:

Reduce the Vine to the Healthiest 3-5 Stems

Avoid letting your mandevilla vines grow wild by reducing the plant to 3–5 of the healthiest stems immediately after planting. Choose strong stems with full, green leaves. Weaker stems should be removed. By removing struggling stems, your mandevilla will produce new, healthy growth.

  • Stop overgrowth by reducing your vines to 3–5 healthy stems after planting.
  • If your new mandevilla only has one stem, trim it down by a third.
  • Prepare with these two steps and you will be set up for successful future pruning.

If there is only one stem on a new mandevilla, cut it back by one-third. This gives you the perfect start for healthy mandevilla growth. It also makes future pruning much easier.

Prune Before New Stems Appear

Prune your mandevilla vines each year before the plant sprouts its new stems in spring. Late winter or early spring are the best times for annual pruning. Don’t wait for the weather to warm up because mandevillas will begin growing quickly in spring.

  • Prune mandevilla vines annually before new stems appear.
  • Pruning is recommended at the end of winter or the beginning of spring.
  • The number of blooms will be reduced if you prune once growth is underway.

Pruning early ensures that you will get as many blooms as possible. This is because pruning after the vines have begun to grow can reduce the number of buds you get. In order to encourage flower production throughout the summer, plan to prune in February or early March.

Use Sharp Hand Pruners

Avoid anvil-style pruners when trimming your mandevilla. Instead, opt for bypass hand pruners that are appropriately sharp. Anvil-type pruners frequently fail to make a clean, sharp cut, and this can lead to crushed stems.

  • Avoid anvil-style pruners.
  • Use sharpened, bypass hand pruners for your mandevilla.
  • Anvil-type pruners can lead to crushed stems, and reduce the health of your vines.

Mandevilla vines will be stressed if their stems are crushed, and are much healthier when clean cuts are made during pruning. Make sure the pruners are sharp and clean them with rubbing alcohol before use. This prevents damage and disease from infecting your mandevilla.

Pinch Back Stems to Encourage New Growth

To encourage new stem growth and healthier mandevilla vines, pinch back each new stem after pruning. To “pinch back” mandevilla stems, simply use your fingernails to snip off the top ½-inch (1 cm) of each stem.

  • Pinch back stems after pruning.
  • “Pinching back” just requires you to snip off the top ½-inch (1 cm) of each stem.
  • Expect healthier mandevilla vines if you use this technique.

Your Mandevilla vines will still grow even if you do not use the pinching technique, but they will grow fuller and healthier if you pinch back the stems. Use enough force to make sure the stem is completely pinched off.

How Far Can You Cut Back Mandevilla?

You can essentially cut back mandevilla as far as you see fit. However, most expert gardeners recommend pruning back to several feet above the ground. 

  • Cut your mandevilla back to your own preference if you choose.
  • It is recommended that you prune back to 3–5 feet (1–1.5 m) above the ground.
  • Keep the soil moist after pruning.
  • Growth will be vigorous again almost immediately after cutting back.

Pruning triggers your mandevilla to grow. Immature sprouts will quickly search for a fence or trellis and grow back quickly. Keeping the soil moist after pruning will help spur growth.

How Do You Prune Your Mandevilla Plant?

Pruning your mandevilla plant is not difficult when you follow a few simple steps. Do the following to ensure beautiful growth and maximum blooming:

  • Always prune before your vines begin to sprout new stems in spring.
  • Prune your mandevilla plants at the beginning of spring or the end of winter.
  • Reduce the number of stems down to 3–5, initially.
  • Avoid using anvil-style pruners—they damage mandevillas.
  • Use sharpened, bypass hand pruners, since these typically result in a good, clean-cut.
  • Pinch back the stems after pruning to encourage vigorous, new growth.

By pruning early in the year, training your mandevilla back to its strongest stems, and pinching the stems back, you promote vigorous spring growth. This process will lead to a strong plant with plenty of flowers.

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