This post is dedicated to my good friend Judy to honor her wishes for more photos of my Mandevilla plant. Judy is one of those friends everyone needs in life — an encouraging sister in Christ who is also my enthusiastic cheerleader to all of my gardening endeavors, and a friend who can see the beauty in my garden no matter what its state of weediness.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” ~Proverbs 27:9
Wisconsin is gorgeous this time of year as trees put on their colorful robes of autumnal splendor. Sooner than we care to imagine, those beautiful leaves will be exchanged for a gorgeous dusting of snow. In fact, just today on this 14th day of October, we had a flurry of snowflakes and a brief but insistent windborne hailstorm–a wintry tease.
Houseplants that have spent the summer on my front porch are being transitioned indoors to my enclosed 3-season porch. Here they will slowly acclimate to being indoors while I inspect them for tagalong bugs and trim them up a bit. Each plant will get a shower before taking its place in the house proper.
This summer I grew a Pink Mandevilla Vine in a pot. I set it at the base of an arbor hoping that it would clamor up and create a lavish pink arched entrance to my backyard deck. It didn’t grow very tall, as you can see in the photo above, but it’s still beautiful. In hindsight, it probably needed a sunnier location. It’s perennial in warmer growing zones, but here in Wisconsin, it needs to come inside for the winter and be kept as a houseplant through the winter months if I want to keep it.
My hubby helped me lug a few pots into the enclosed 3-season porch when we first began experiencing overnight frost warnings a few weeks ago, including the Mandevilla. As pretty as it looks on that porch, it’ll need to make the transition into the house for the winter because the 3-season porch gets cold enough to serve as a second fridge.
I decided to go ahead and make the effort to overwinter this lovely plant (plus a few others). Hubby took me shopping to find a few new pots for my “bringing the outside in” endeavor. We purchased a roomier ceramic pot in a neutral color for the Mandevilla. I dug the plant out of its summer pot and inspected the roots for signs of disease and pests before replanting it in fresh potting soil in its new pottery abode. I gave the plant a thorough shower in the kitchen sink and then placed it in a bright spot on my family room window seat. According to one of my internet resources, I’m supposed to cut it back a bit, but want to enjoy the blossoms a little bit longer before giving it a haircut.