Mandevilla is a unique flowering vine that grows in subtropical and tropical climates. This plant, more commonly known as rocktrumpet, is native to Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies. Because most people who grow this plant live in deer-populated areas, there are a lot of inquisitions as to whether deer feed off the plant. So, do deer eat Mandevilla?
Due to the recurring questions, we paid a lot of attention to answering this question. After some rigorous research, we got a lot of helpful information and ideas, which we’ll share. So, let’s dive right into that.
Mandevilla is a somewhat deer-resistant plant that adds some color to gardens. The plant is characterized by thick white sap that usually keeps deer from eating it. Despite this, deer still graze on the plant in some instances when other edible plants are in short supply. For this reason, other deer-resistant plants are recommended for gardens.
Mandevilla blooms better in hot weather, also surviving direct sunlight. The plant is characterized by a colorful five-petal bloom that attracts attention. However, the sap that emanates from the plant causes skin irritation when in contact with the skin. It also causes nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset when consumed.
The Mandevilla plant’s bright, beautiful red flowers would always add some flavor to your garden. In addition, this stunning shrub usually matures to 12 feet in height and grows quickly. For this reason, the plant is an excellent choice for people looking to fill up some space in no time. However, this feature could be a disadvantage when forage plants are scarce.
Since deer do not usually eat Mandevilla plants, they also avoid the colorful Mandevilla flowers. This is because the flowers from these plants also consist of the same thick white sap found in the stems and leaves. However, this does not entirely prevent deer from eating the flowers in a few extreme cases.
For instance, deer may be forced to feed on this plant if there’s a severe shortage of forages in a particular area. But, on the other hand, they’d altogether avoid the plant and its parts when they can find better food material.
The five-petal blooms evident on the plant during flowering are more susceptible to hungry deer than the plant’s leaves and stems. Therefore, there is a round-the-year threat of foraging animals in the locations where the plant develops as a perennial plant.
On the other hand, the plant’s flowers only develop in early summer, with the flower’s bloom period lasting until the first frost falls in autumn. This creates a short window that leaves the flowers at the mercy of the foraging deer. However, there is enough forage within that period to keep deer from attacking the flowers.
Deer do not find Mandevilla vines attractive and tend to leave them for other food sources. They only eat them when they discover they have no other food option. The primary reason deer skip the Mandevilla vine for other food options is the sap in this plant, which is unappetizing.
Although eating Mandevilla vines is harmful to humans, according to ASPCA, Mandevilla vines aren’t toxic to pets. However, at worst, it can cause deer indigestion, so they don’t go for it when other options are available.
In reality, deers only eat the Mandevilla vine when they have no other option. Therefore, you must get creative to keep your Mandevilla vines from deer. You can avoid this problem by fencing your plant or adding sprays to your Mandevilla vine. But be rest assured that your Mandevilla vine is the last thing deer will go for.
The most effective ways of protecting your Mandevilla from deer are by making a fence around your garden and spraying the plants with a commercial deer repellent. Even though deer do not usually eat Mandevilla due to its repelling features, it is sometimes necessary to stop them from doing so.
For those residing in areas with large deer populations, this is sometimes a necessity when looking to preserve your plant. Well, here is how to protect this plant.
Although it can be pretty expensive to make a fence around your garden, this is the only sure way to keep deer from coming into your garden. Generally, making a fence as soon as you begin your garden is recommended to keep the deer from even knowing there are plants in it.
When making a fence against deer, you would have to construct the fence quite tall. Usually, this is done to prevent the animals from jumping over the fence. An eight-foot to ten-foot fence slanted at a 45-degree angle works excellently. Also, an electric fence always works better.
Deer repellent sprays have proven to be very effective when you try to keep deer out of your garden. However, it is recommended to use natural and non-toxic repellent sprays. There are several of these safe for pets, plants, and pets. Some examples are Deer Out, Bobbex, Orbit, Nite Guard, and Zovenchi.
The damage done to the Mandevilla plant and the prevailing climate determines whether the plant can bounce back after being eaten by deer. So, while established Mandevilla most likely recovers from the damage, young plants may have difficulty growing back, especially if the damage is significant.
Fully-established plants regrow quickly in the spring after sustaining substantial damage from deer. As long as the damage does not extensively affect the plant roots, these fully developed Mandevilla plants bounce back. Also, remember that your plant may lose all its sprouts but may still bounce back if its roots are well established.
That notwithstanding, you could still lose your plant after a deer attack, especially when the environmental conditions are not exactly favorable. For one, if your Mandevilla does not have enough moisture or is exposed to other adverse conditions, an attack from a deer would most likely cripple it.
Mandevilla is a perennial in its usual growth zones in subtropical zones such as Central and South America. However, in cold zones like the United States, the plant is more often considered an annual plant due to its frost-tender nature.
Unfortunately, Mandevilla plants die when exposed to freezing temperatures. For this reason, many gardeners plant it each year after the winter. Nonetheless, it’s also possible to take it indoors during the winter to prevent it from exposure to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where it is grown as a perennial, you can prune your Mandevilla plant at any time of the year. This does not affect its life cycle because it usually grows back if the conditions are friendly.
Yes, Mandevilla plants like full sun. The vines require a lot of sunlight to grow properly. Although they can still cope with partial shade, they prefer the full sun. Mandevilla vines are sun-loving plants, so you should plant them where there is adequate exposure. The vines will bloom adequately, and you will love the result when they finally grow.
Exposing your Mandevilla to adequate sunlight for at least six hours each day is essential. Eight hours of daylight is enough if you stay in an area with a less hot climate. However, long-term exposure to scorching conditions is also not ideal for them. Mandevilla vines can get too much sun.
They can get scorched under too much sun and excessive heat. When they get sun-scorched, the leaves become brown and wrinkled. Also, the blooms may have brown or yellow spots in the middle of the petal. Although, this is primarily common in areas with scorching climates.
You could make a temporary shade to cover them in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. These shades will protect them from getting sun blisters.
You can also plant your Mandevilla under indirect sunlight, but you must ensure the area gets at least three hours of direct sunlight. The vines will grow better that way.
Apart from deer, rabbits, squirrels, and insects like caterpillars, aphids, mites, scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies feed on Mandevilla. Despite the little toxicity associated with the plant, these animals still enjoy feeding off its leaves, stems, and flowers.
Because Mandevilla plants have a lot of predators looking to feed off their succulent parts, it is essential to protect them against these predators. So, while fencing the garden works for deer, insects, and rodents may be a little more persistent.
Insect repellents, rodent repellents, and rodent traps are more helpful ways of dealing with this problem. Also, remember that it’s best to handle these problems at their early stages before they get out of hand.
Many people consider Mandevilla as deer-resistant; however, these plants are not exactly safe from consumption by deer. Well, the plants may be safe as long as there are available forage plants for deer consumption. But shortages in forage material will push these animals to feed on the plant.
For this reason, it’s advisable to fence your garden or use repellent sprays to keep deer and other pests out. Or, better, you can opt for more resilient plant species.