Brazilian jasmine is a flowering vine that can be grown outdoors year-round in tropical climates, indoors as a perennial houseplant.
While Mandevilla sanderi has attractive, glossy green leaves, it is primarily grown for its colorful blooms, which will cover the vines all summer.
|Scientific Name||Mandevilla Sanderi|
|Common Name||Brazilian jasmine, Dipladenia, Rocktrumpet|
|Light||Bright indirect sunlight|
|Watering||Water if the surface of the soil is dry|
|Temperature||60 to 75ºF (15 to 24ºC)|
|Hardiness Zone||10 to 12|
|Humidity||70 to 80%|
|Soil Type||Rich, quick-draining, loamy|
|Soil pH||6.6 to 7.5 (mildly acidic to neutral)|
|Fertilizing||Twice a month in spring and summer|
|Pruning||Beginning of the growing season|
|Propagation||Root in water or soil|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets|
|Mature Size||6 feet as a houseplant|
What’s Unique About Brazilian Jasmine?
The Brazilian jasmine plant is native to rainforests in the state of Rio de Janeiro in south-east Brazil, but is no longer found in the wild. It was first discovered 200 years ago and has been a popular houseplant ever since.
Brazilian jasmine plants are prized for their trumpet-shaped blooms, which may be white, pink, or red, depending on the cultivar.
Growing Brazilian jasmine is not too complicated once you’ve mastered its need for high humidity and regular watering.
Because Mandevilla sanderi grows quickly, you will not have to wait long to enjoy a glorious show of flowers in summer.
Brazilian Jasmine Care
In the tropical rainforests of Brazil where Mandevilla sanderi originates, this flowering vine evolved in a warm and humid environment.
Whether you grow it indoors or outside, your Brazilian jasmine plant care needs to deliver those same conditions.
For good Mandevilla sanderi care, keep your tropical beauty in bright but indirect light, with lots of water, warmth, and humidity.
In its native rainforests in Brazil, Mandevilla sanderi gets between 4 to 7 hours of sunlight a day, but that sun is filtered through the tree canopy.
Thus, while the Brazilian jasmine light requirements are for bright light, it will not tolerate full sun.
Mandevilla sanderi light needs are between 10,000 to 20,000 lux.
You can keep your Brazilian jasmine plant right in an east-facing window, or several feet away from a south or west exposure.
If you are growing your Brazilian jasmine outdoors, find a spot where it will get afternoon shade, although it will enjoy morning or late day sun.
The tropical rainforests of Rio de Janeiro are not amongst the wettest in the world, but it still rains an average of twice a week in summer. The winter season is much drier.
Follow that same seasonal variation for your Brazilian jasmine watering.
In general, water Mandevilla sanderi once every day or so in the spring and summer, and cut back to once a week in winter, when its watering needs decrease.
Trust your judgment and aim to keep the soil consistently moist without being sopping wet during the growing season.
Use rainwater if possible, but if you must use tap water, leave it out to let the fluoride and chlorine dissipate before using it.
In Rio de Janeiro, daytime averages range from above 85ºF (30ºC) in summer to 79ºF (26ºC) in winter. Nighttime lows bottom out at 62ºF (16ºC). It’s a hot climate.
The Brazilian jasmine temperature range starts at about 60ºF (15ºC) and goes up from there.
Given its native habitat, it’s hard to have too high a temperature for Mandevilla sanderi, so it will love spending the hot summer months outdoors.
However, once temperatures get below 50ºF (10ºC), it’s definitely going to need to get moved indoors, as its temperature tolerance drops off.
It has no frost hardiness, so either treat as an annual or keep it inside all winter.
The humidity in Brazil ranges between 70 to 90% all year, and as a result, your Brazilian jasmine humidity requirements are high.
The ideal humidity for Mandevilla sanderi is between 70 to 80%. If you are growing your Brazilian jasmine indoors, you will certainly have to create a moister microclimate to keep it thriving.
Grouping your plants together can help to raise humidity levels for all of them, but it probably won’t be enough on its own.
You can raise the humidity level further with a small humidifier, or mist the foliage daily.
Even outdoors, if the humidity falls too low, you should mist the leaves.
The forest floor in the rainforest is composed of a spongy soil with an open structure, full of decomposing plant material. It never stays soaking wet.
The best Brazilian jasmine soil will be both well-draining and full of organic matter to feed the plant and retain moisture.
The optimum pH level for Mandevilla sanderi is 6.6 to 7.5, or mildly acidic to neutral.
You can make a good soil for Mandevilla sanderi by combining equal parts of potting soil, peat moss, and coarse sand.
Adding a good handful of well-rotted compost or worm castings will enrich the soil mix.
You will need to use fertilizer frequently to keep your Brazilian jasmine blooming at its best.
The best Brazilian jasmine fertilizer is a liquid solution with a fertilizer ratio of 10-20-10, as it needs extra phosphorus to keep pumping out flowers. Look for a formulation with calcium as well.
It is necessary to apply fertilizer for Mandevilla sanderi every 2 weeks in spring and summer.
Dilute the solution to half the recommended strength and pour over the surface after you’ve watered.
In fall and winter, your Brazilian jasmine will become dormant and cease flowering. Hold off on feeding until the following spring.
Potting & Repotting
Because it’s such a fast growing vine, you should plan on Brazilian jasmine repotting once a year.
The best time for repotting Mandevilla sanderi is in early spring, just as it enters its growing season.
Only increase the pot size by a couple of inches, as you want your Brazilian jasmine to concentrate on growing flowers, not roots.
It’s best to use a glazed or plastic pot, as terra cotta will dry the soil out too quickly. You still need good drainage holes, though.
Use fresh potting soil, and make sure you add a good helping of compost or worm castings to give it lots of nutrients to prepare for flowering.
Brazilian jasmine pruning should be done in early spring before it starts growing.
Since the flowers appear on new growth, leaving it too late in the season may cut down on the number of blooms.
Shape the plant as desired. If you want a bushier plant rather than long vines, simply cut the stems right above a pair of leaves.
You should also trim off any dead or damaged stems.
As well, cut off flowers once they have wilted to encourage new blooms.
Never remove more than a third of the plant in any one growing season.
When cutting Mandevilla sanderi, use sharp, sterilized scissors or clippers.
You can start new Brazilian jasmine plants from seed or by taking cuttings.
To propagate Mandevilla sanderi from seed, soak the seeds for a few hours, and then tuck them just under the surface in a moist planting medium.
However, many growers use stem cuttings for Brazilian jasmine propagation. Simply take 4 to 6 inch cuttings from young, healthy stems.
Cut just below a leaf node, and strip off all but the top few pairs of leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
Stick the cuttings into moist soil, and keep them in a warm and humid environment out of the bright sun.
Within a few weeks you should have new, rooted baby plants.
Common Problems of Brazilian Jasmine
There are not a whole lot of Brazilian jasmine problems to worry about.
However, if you do encounter some problems with Mandevilla sanderi, a quick investigation should be able to determine the cause, and help you clear it up.
Whether it’s a lack of flowers, or discolored leaves, most of the time you should be able to solve the issue.
You may have trouble with some Brazilian jasmine pests, especially if you are growing your Mandevilla sanderi indoors as a potted plant.
The best way to deal with bugs is to prevent them from turning up; simply spray your Brazilian jasmine periodically with insecticidal soap or neem oil to keep them away.
Spider mites will leave yellow dots on the leaves and spin webs.
Aphids are small green bugs feeding under the leaves and on the stems.
Both bugs can be rinsed off in the sink or shower.
Scale look like little brown bumps. Wipe them off with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Whiteflies are little white flies (of course). Use yellow sticky traps to catch them, or vacuum them up with a hand vac.
You may end up dealing with Brazilian jasmine diseases if you don’t carefully manage moisture issues with your Mandevilla sanderi.
Leaf spot can be either a bacterial or fungal disease that disfigures and kills the foliage.
Root rot will lead to yellow leaves, soft, drooping stems, and black, smelly roots.
For all diseases, cut off all infected parts and repot your Brazilian jasmine in fresh soil in a disinfected pot.
Keep it away from other plants until you know the disease is gone, and in future make sure the soil does not stay soaking wet and there’s adequate air circulation.
Sometimes growing problems are just a case of poor growing conditions, resulting in what appears to be a sick plant. Fix that, and should be able to fix your plant.
Yellow leaves can mean too much water in the soil, or not enough. Either give your Brazilian jasmine a good soaking or plant it in fresh, well-draining soil.
Dropping leaves may occur when you move your Brazilian jasmine inside in late summer or early fall. Slowly acclimate it to the indoors.
If your Brazilian jasmine is not flowering, it may need more light (about 6 to 8 hours a day), more phosphorus-rich fertilizer, or higher temperatures (a minimum of 62ºF (16ºC).
Toxicity of Brazilian Jasmine
Mandevilla sanderi is mildly toxic to humans and pets.
Its toxicity is due to the latex in the sap, which can cause indigestion when ingested by people or animals, or skin irritation upon contact.
It’s best to take precautions to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets.
While Brazilian jasmine is only mildly toxic to most humans, people with a latex allergy can have an anaphylactic reaction after exposure. In some cases it can be life-threatening.
However, for most adults the worst that can happen is a rash after exposure to the sap when handling the vines or flowers.
Wear gloves and rinse off any sap that gets on your skin to prevent the development of irritation.
Children are more likely to try eating one of the flowers. The blooms will taste terrible, so they’re unlikely to do more than take a little bite.
If they get sap around or inside their mouth, clean their skin off thoroughly and rinse their mouth out.
Pets may try eating Brazilian jasmine foliage or flowers, but you do not usually have to worry about rushing your cat or dog to the veterinarian.
Usually the worst that may happen is that they end up with vomiting and diarrhea. Keep them well hydrated and monitor their symptoms to see if they worsen.
The best thing to do is to keep your Brazilian jasmine away from pets and children.
It’s very well-suited to growing in a hanging basket, from which you can let the stems trail. You just need to keep them pruned short enough that they are out of reach.
Brazilian Jasmine Appearance
When anyone thinks of the Brazilian jasmine appearance, they will immediately visualize the bright, lush flowers that extravagantly cover the long vines in summer.
However, the evergreen leaves are also very lovely, whether they are just a foil for the exotic blooms, or as the main attraction in other seasons.
The foliage of Brazilian jasmine is evergreen, lasting through all seasons and providing a lovely fresh look for your indoor garden in winter.
The narrow oval leaves have a sharp tip, and grow to a length of 2.5 inches long, with smooth margins.
The leathery leaves have a glossy upper surface. They are a solid dark to medium green.
You can expect most of the Mandevilla sanderi leaves to remain on the plant all year, although the occasional leaf will fall off.
A regular cleaning with a fine mist will keep them looking glossy, and add a little extra humidity.
The Mandevilla sanderi flower is definitely the main attraction of this tropical vine.
Brazilian jasmine flowering usually takes place throughout summer and into the autumn, although in some tropical gardens blooming may continue for most of the year.
The flowers have 5 broad petals and a deep, tubular throat. From the side they look trumpet-shaped, leading to the name rocktrumpet.
The flowers can be as much as 3 to 6 inches across, and are borne in large numbers, creating a really exotic and colorful display.
Depending on the cultivar, flowers may be various shades of red, pink, or white. The throat is often yellow.
Size and Growth
The eventual size of Brazilian jasmine depends on whether you are growing it indoors or outside.
It has a very rapid growth rate, and outdoors Mandevilla sanderi can easily grow 10 feet in one season.This is why many growers in temperate zones use it as an annual.
Grown as a potted plant indoors, it will usually top out at about 6 feet, with a spread of 3 feet.
As your Mandevilla sanderi matures, its stems will become tough and woody.
It is naturally a climbing vine, and will be happiest when given support to scramble up.
However, it also works well as a hanging plant.
Brazilian Jasmine Fragrance
While some other Mandevilla flowers have a pleasant scent, there is little to no Brazilian jasmine fragrance.
However, that’s a small price to pay in return for the masses of colorful blooms for months in summer and autumn.
As well, because Mandevilla sanderi is so well-suited to indoor cultivation, it’s a good plant for settings where fragrant plants are not allowed.
Many people have sensitivities or actual allergies to strong scents, so scentless plants such as Mandevilla sanderi are ideal.
In fact, if you are growing your Brazilian jasmine in the confined space of a small house or even smaller apartment, it’s probably better to not have an overwhelming fragrance.
Suggested Uses for Brazilian Jasmine
Indoors, you can place your Mandevilla sanderi wherever you want a bright display of flowers for several months, and fresh foliage the rest of the year.
Since it demands high humidity, hanging a basket in your bathroom may be ideal.
Outdoors, you have so many ways to utilize this climbing vine.
Let your Brazilian jasmine grow over a pergola or arch, or up a trellis.
If you put it in a planter, you can bring that in for the winter and return it to the garden the following year for an even bigger display.
Wherever you use it outdoors, it will be a hummingbird and butterfly magnet. It’s perfect near a patio or deck where you can enjoy the air show!
What is Brazilian jasmine?
Brazilian jasmine is an evergreen perennial vine native to the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where it grows in the tropical rainforest. It is a popular landscaping and house plant.
How to identify Brazilian jasmine?
Brazilian jasmine grows into long vines, with small, glossy green leaves, and large trumpet-shaped flowers that will be red, pink, or white, depending on the cultivar.
How to care for Brazilian jasmine?
Brazilian jasmine should be grown in bright but indirect light in consistently moist soil with high humidity, and given a supporting structure for its vines to climb.
How to grow Brazilian jasmine indoors?
Brazilian jasmine can be grown indoors as a potted plant, either with a pole or trellis to climb, or in a hanging planter to allow its vines to trail.
How to grow Brazilian jasmine outdoors?
Brazilian jasmine can be grown as a permanent outdoor plant in tropical or subtropical regions, where it should be given growing support such as a trellis or pergola.
How fast does Brazilian jasmine grow?
Brazilian jasmine has a very fast growth rate, and can easily grow 10 feet in one growing season outdoors. It is often grown as a tender annual for this reason.
How tall does Brazilian jasmine grow?
Brazilian jasmine will grow to about 6 feet when grown indoors as a potted plant, while outdoors a vine can extend up to 15 feet.
How to make Brazilian jasmine grow faster?
Brazilian jasmine will grow fastest with frequent light feedings, bright light but no afternoon sun, consistently moist soil, and very high humidity and temperature levels.
How to stake Brazilian jasmine?
Brazilian jasmine can be trained over a pergola or arch outside, or allowed to climb across a trellis or fence. Indoors, give it a pole or trellis to grow up.
How to pot Brazilian jasmine?
Brazilian jasmine should be potted in loose, rich, well-draining soil with plenty of organic material, in a glazed or plastic pot with good drainage holes.
How to revive Brazilian jasmine?
If your Brazilian jasmine soil has gotten too dry, set the whole pot in a pail of tepid water and let the soil absorb as much as possible before draining the excess.
Why is my Brazilian jasmine dying?
Your Brazilian jasmine may have a bacterial or fungal infection caused by overly wet conditions. Cut out everything that looks bad and replant it in fresh soil.
Why is my Brazilian jasmine drooping?
Your Brazilian jasmine may be in soil that is too wet or too dry. Either give it a good soaking or try to drain the soil by poking holes in it.
How cold can Brazilian jasmine tolerate?
Temperatures below 62ºF (16ºC) are too low for Brazilian jasmine to flower, and below 50ºF (10ºC) it will start to lose leaves. Frost will kill it.
How to get rid of pests on Brazilian jasmine?
Most Brazilian jasmine pests can be deterred by using regular monthly sprays of organic pesticides such as an insecticidal soap or neem oil and water mixture.
Is Brazilian jasmine toxic to cats?
Yes, Brazilian jasmine is mildly toxic to cats. Your cat may have vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting any of the foliage or flowers because of the latex in the sap.
Is Brazilian jasmine toxic to dogs?
Yes, Brazilian jasmine is mildly toxic to dogs. You should, however, be able to manage any symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea without going to the veterinarian.
Is Brazilian jasmine toxic to children?
Yes, Brazilian jasmine is mildly toxic to most children, although a child who has a latex allergy could have an anaphylactic reaction and require emergency care.
Is Brazilian jasmine toxic to humans?
Yes, Brazilian jasmine is mildly toxic to most humans, usually causing a rash, but a person who is allergic to latex could have a more severe reaction.
Does Brazilian jasmine have a scent?
Brazilian jasmine does not have a scent, so it is a good choice for settings where the use of fragrant plants is inadvisable or banned.