Secrets Of Producting Sun Parasol Mandevillas

Sun Parasol Mandevillas

Sun Parasol is the brand for a completely new collection of mandevilla hybrids, an entirely new group of varieties obtained by cross-breeding. The genus mandevilla has many subgroups, including sanderi, boliviensis and amoena, which are all known for their climbing or trailing properties. Until recently, sanderi was the leading variety in North America. However, the market for mandevilla has changed dramatically with the arrival of Sun Parasol. The popular Crimson varieties are the first that stay true to color. The new ‘Sun Parasol Garden Crimson’ is capturing a lot of attention as the first bedding plant mandevilla.

Helpful Hints From
T. Jay Higgins

Sun-Fire Nurseries, Sarasota, Florida

Sun Parasol offers the most variety of colors and types in mandevillas and Giant Crimson is still the only true red mandevilla on the market. The Pretty varieties are the most unique because they combine dipladenia characteristics (smaller leaf and flower) with a mandevilla growth habit (aggressive climber).

Sun Parasols have more disease and pest resistance than the traditional ‘Alice Dupont’ mandevilla, along with a variety of colors and types to choose from. The amount of blooms Sun Parasol produces gives a “wow” factor. Sun Parasol can be used in various pot sizes, baskets and as a combination.

The Originals have a bush habit and are ideal for 1-3 gallon bushes and any size hanging basket. The Giants are the true mandevilla and ideal to be grown on a trellis or used in hanging baskets.

The Pretties are the most unique and ideal for a trellis or hanging basket. They have smaller flowers, but more flowers, and are very aggressive climbers. The biggest tip with mandevilla is choosing the right soil mix and location. They like a well-draining soil mix. They love the sun but don’t like to be wet. For the consumer: make sure you plant in a sunny location and not in a low spot or place where a gutter may drain. They can be kept in pots on the patio or planted into the ground.

Sun Parasol mandevillas are classified into four groups:

• The Originals come in Crimson, Pink, Cream Pink, Dark Red and White with bushy, compact growth and medium-sized flowers. Exciting novelties – Stars & Stripes, Lush Crimson and Burgundy – are available in limited supply. Plants have good branching, neat foliage and are natural climbers suitable for pots, hanging baskets, balconies or as bedding plants and house plants.

• The Giants are available in White, Pink, Crimson and Carmine King. They have a vigorous growing habit, coarse foliage and are natural climbers suitable for patios, balconies and as house plants in sunny areas. They are the classic mandevilla.

• The Pretty group, which comes in Pink and Crimson, is distinguished by superior branching and vigorous growth. It can be grown as a traditional pot plant, even in 4- and 6-inch pots. Flower size is the same as the Original group but foliage is glossy, thinner and more vining. Plants are natural climbers suitable for hanging baskets, patios and balconies.

• The Garden group begins with Garden Crimson. These plants are uniquely positioned for quart pots and will finish in 14 weeks. Plant in masses in beds, containers and baskets. No trellises are needed for support.

General Culture

Mandevillas are long-day plants. Buds are initiated with 10-11 hour days for the Pretty type and the Originals. The Giant group will flower with 12-hour days. Varieties in each group vary depending on the color. Ideal growing temperature is 65-75˚F the first two to three weeks after potting. Keep plants on the dry side to encourage roots to grow out of the plug quickly. Temperature can then be lowered to 65-70˚F. Lower temperatures can be used, but plants will take longer.

Initial potting should take place in a 4-to 5-inch pot. Growing media should have a pH between 5.0 and 5.5. Depending on the time of year, three to four weeks after potting, the leading shoot will begin to grow quickly. The plant will then require a pinch to encourage a bushy habit. Two types of pinches can be carried out:

Method 1 – This type of pinch is a soft pinch, where you will leave at least four pairs of leaves and get fewer breaks and take these up for training. Pinching is done higher.

Method 2 – This method is for short, compact plants. Regular pinching is required once the desired height has been achieved. This will encourage a bushy and dense plant for a nice finish and earlier sale.

Watering

Watering is critical and a dry regime is more suited than a wet one, where plants can become prone to root diseases. Too dry and there will be a problem with nutrient uptake. It is best to water lightly and often. The best way to control growth is with water retention, especially with the white-colored varieties.

Pests & Diseases

Monitor for whiteflies, western flower thrips, aphids, red spider mites, fungus gnats, shore flies and mealy bugs. Diseases to prevent are Botrytis, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Cylindrocarpen (root rot),  Cercospora (leaf spot) and Colletrotichum (leaf spot).

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One comment on “Secrets Of Producting Sun Parasol Mandevillas

  1. I brought a sun parasol mandevilla in the house last fall. Eventually it quit blooming but is still living. Will it bloom again this summer. Is it possible to start new plants from one. Thank you

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