Mandevilla laxa

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn8a 15º to 10ºF

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Mandevilla laxa

Chilean Jasmine is not common in our region but it has been grown for many decades and it does well in warmer gardens, protected places. Large entire deep green leaves are 3″ long and  opposite on twining stems. This strongly growing vine requires heavy and reliable support (See #4 copper wire). Blooms on new growth, which is continuous, In rich soil it can achieve 15′ in a season. The 2″ long tubular white flowers have the familiar propeller petal configuration of this family the Apocynaceae . The fragrance to me is delicious on warm days and nights and close to the blossoms which appear in clusters. It is not a sweetly cloying scent but more sophisticated. I once had this vine around my front door. In full bloom on warm summer nights it would be a cloud of perfume. Deciduous and often freezes back either 1/2- 3/4 of the way in colder than normal winters. In horrendous winters (below 12ºF) it can freeze away. Choose a protected site in full sun with rich soil and ample water. The more verdant the growth the more profuse the display and fragrance. Blooms late May- October. Avoid, cold frosty sites, cold gardens. In rural areas place it against  south facing wall. Because it blooms on new wood and grows so prolifically it may be cut nearly to the ground for a fresh start to the year- do this in late March.  In most summers large two chamber connected bean pods are 8″ long and bright green. When they ripen to tan they will twist and release downy clad black seeds that sail on the wind. Several winters in a row and the seeds that germinate may survive. I almost always lose them but the climate is changing and don’t bet on self sowing any way -its rare  Root hardy to about 5ºF- mulch for added protection. Exquisite vine. Native to central southern Chile.

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