I was gifted with a plant this week. It has taken some research to find out about this plant. Originally I had thought it was a Clematis, this was incorrect. It is a Dipladenia.
Dipladenia splendens and Mandevilla splendens are two synonymous botanical names for pink allamanda, an evergreen species of flowering vine grown for its showy pink flowers and vigorous climbing habit. Gardeners within U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 to 11 have the greatest luck growing the vine since it requires warm temperatures and cannot tolerate frost, but it can also be grown as a houseplant almost anywhere.
Dipladenia grow better as a bush and prefers to be planted in a container (even if the pot is placed in the ground) It does very nicely as a hanging plant. It prefers bright light or semi-shade, but not direct sunlight.
This is a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). Specifically Dipladenia is a transplant from Brazil, and as such is a hardy grower in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and 11. Many of these plants in this family have milky latex, and many species are poisonous if ingested.
The growing recommendations for Dipladenia is that it prefers a growing where indirect or filtered light and partial shade is available. Soil should be enriched with peat and sand as well as potting soil. For pot growing Dipladenia mixing in crushed charcoal can aid in soil drainage, which is essential to the health of the growing plant. Temperatures are recommended to be maintained at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for the health of the plant.
The Dipladenia is a vine, but can also be kept more as a bush. Pinching back the plant will create a bushy plant. It climbs via twining. Reportedly it twins around thin sticks, itself, and other things. Looking at this plant at other locations, it seems to need a small amount of assistance.
The plant I received had 2 branches that had been damaged, I have cut them and ‘planted’ them in soil to see how well I can root them. I am making no special soil mix for them, so they may not root well. One of them is in a cute little pot I have put in my fountain. The soil is in a plastic pot that can drain, and the outer pot is a glazed ceramic pot with no drain hole, so the fountain water can not keep it soaked. It does mean I have to be careful not to over water, as it will sit in the pot.
I have admired this plant. A friend is very successful with the one she has in the Sacramento area as a potted plant on the patio. It is not brought in during the winter. She has had this plant now for a few years, and it always looks wonderful. Now it is my turn to try it out.
And now you have met the newest member of my family.
Resources include: Wikipedia, wisegeek, gardenguide.com, askville, davesgarden.com, and questions asked of local nurseries.