Plant of the Month: June 2014
by Jenny Wegley
Mandevilla hybrid ‘Sun Parasol Giant’ series
AT A GLANCE
Latin name: Mandevilla hybrid ‘Sun Parasol Giant’ series
Common name: Mandevilla
Flowers: 3 to 5 inches
Mature size: 3- to 4-foot vine
Hardiness: Summer annual
Soil: Well drained
Exposure: Full sun
Water usage: Medium
Sources: Local nurseries or mail order
Over the past several weekends I have frequented home improvement stores and garden centers, and I have noticed that Mandevilla has been a focal point at all of these locations. This makes me smile! I love Mandevilla! With ongoing breeding work, these plants are only getting better.
The Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol’ series was introduced to me through the Dallas Arboretum Plant Trials three years ago. There are several “groups” within the ‘Sun Parasol’ series, each showcasing a different habit — some being more mounding, while others have a true vining habit. The ‘Sun Parasol Giant’ group features tropical vines that are vigorous but not overly aggressive, which allows for easy management and training. The Giant group has large, 3- to 5-inch open trumpet flowers ranging in color from white to pink to numerous shades of red. The nice thing about this group is the uniformity of the different colors, which allows for easy mixing. ‘Giant Crimson’ is the standout. Its deep red flowers scream “Summer!”
I suggest planting it in a hanging basket and letting it train itself on the hanger of the basket and spill over the sides. Including it in a container is also a great use of Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol’; use it as the spiller.
Nothing says summer like a tropical in your landscape. Try ‘Sun Parasol’ this season. It is a moderate water user; just don’t allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. For maximum flower power, fertilize frequently. Rest assured that if you see the ‘Sun Parasol’ branding on a tag or container, you are buying a high-quality plant, whether or not it is in the Giant group. Find it at your favorite local nursery, on-line, or at almost any garden center.
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