Mandevilla ‘Sun Parasol Apricot’
Photo courtesy of Suntory Flowers
Breaking out from the standard red, white and pink varieties, Suntory Flowers introduced a new color and form in mandevilla with Sun Parasol Apricot.
While the flowers are 3.4-4.5 inches large, like Sun Parasol Giant types, the growth habit is significantly different. Instead of being a natural climber, the growth is more pendulous or hanging. Vines get loaded with large buds and blooms.
The plant can still be trained to a trellis or cut back to produce a full bushy plant. But the natural habit is ideal for hanging baskets. Compared to other mandevillas, growth is fast and vigorous with excellent branching to produce a high flower count.
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Sun Parasol mandevillas are long-day plants. Sun Parasol Apricot will flower under 8-9 hour days. Plants flower on every third leaf pair, measured from the base or from the previous flower. Buds are aborted in unfavorable conditions. Remove the shoot above the bud to prevent bud abortion.
Ideal growing temperature is 65-75° F the first two to three weeks after potting. Temperature can be then lowered to 65-70° F. Lower temperatures can be used, but plants will take longer. Mandevillas like light and heat. Optimize growth by providing warm temperatures and high light levels.
Always plant Sun Parasol in a well-draining soil. Keep plants on the dry side with the pot almost completely drying out between watering. A dry regime is more suited than a wet one, where plants can become prone to root diseases. Too dry, and there will be a problem with nutrient uptake. Too much water leads to leaf yellowing. Water plants in the morning so foliage can dry.
Feed Sun Parasol plants with a well-balanced fertilizer every other day at 250 ppm. We also recommend a slow-release fertilizer at ¼ the recommended rate. Do not put slow-release granules next to the stem, because it may burn the plant. If the pot doesn’t dry out during cloudy days, do not water.
The best way to control growth is with water retention. Pinching is necessary to improve branching. Wait until the plants are fairly well-rooted before pinching. For a nice upright bush, cut back Sun Parasol Apricot 5-6 weeks before shipping. New buds will appear in just four weeks.
Pests and diseases
Watch for mites, the prime pest, and take preventative measures. Additional pests to monitor for include aphids, thrips and whiteflies. Good airflow helps prevent foliar leaf spot. Watering in the morning helps, too. Prevent Fusarium and Botrytis by keeping plants dry in the winter.