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I Have A Climbing Hummingbird Plant (annual) Which Says On…

Jon Asked

I have a climbing hummingbird plant (annual) which says on the tag, crimson red hoop.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Jon in Wisconsin: The climbing vine you have is a mandevilla, sometimes referred to as a hoop plant. ‘Crimson Red’ is the named variety of the mandevilla. These plants are considered tropicals for those of us not gardening in hardiness zones 9 and above. The plants will not tolerate temperatures lower than 45 degrees F. Your vine will thrive when planted in a container or the garden where it will receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. These tropicals like their soil to be moderately moist but never sopping wet. In the heat of the summer you will need to water your vine every day if grown in a container. It will likely reach 3-4 feet in one growing season. It can get to 10 feet where it can be grown year-round, but since our growing season is much shorter than zones 9-11, it will not get to be this large. You can feed your vine with your favorite fertilizer every couple of weeks to encourage blooms. A well-balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 is fine, or a fertilizer with a higher potassium is fine as well. As with any fertilizer, it is important to follow recommended application rates since too much food can have the reverse effect in terms of flowers. If you choose to use a granular food, you will not need to feed as often as a water-soluble one. You can over-winter your plant indoors if you want to keep it for next year’s growing season. Bring it in before the first frost and place it in a space where it will receive bright light. It will not flower indoors but the idea is just to keep it alive until you can take it back outside next spring. During the winter months you will want to cut back on your watering and fertilizing. You can give it a half dose of your favorite plant food once per month and water every seven to 10 days. Your watering routine will depend on the temperature and humidity of your home.

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