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Thread: Tubers on Mandevilla roots,

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
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    Tubers on Mandevilla roots,

    Does anyone know the true function of the tubers on Mandevilla roots? I've seen many questions about this, most of which having something to do with growing new plants from them, but never any good, definite answers. Does anyone know?
    One purported horticultural expert recently gave this (to me, somewhat questionable) reply to a lady who wanted to know if she could store the tubers, like Dahlias, and plant them next spring, to produce new plants.

    They are not part of the reproductive process for mandevilla. Just what they are is another question. They may be storage organs or a nembatode in either case the plant will be better if all are removed & Destroyed.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    John,

    I was not able to find very much information about the tubers on the Mandevilla roots, but I did see enough reference to them to be able to discern that they ARE part of the "reproductive" system of the plant; ie, storage roots that sustain the plant thru the dormant period. Whoever this person was that said they should be destroyed doesn't know what they are talking about.

    You should be able to carry over your plant in a bright, sunny window. First you will need to cut the plant back to 12-inches above the soil level, give it a dose of 10-20-10 fertilizer and keep the plant somewhat on the dry side. It will most like make some soft new growth through the winter and it will no doubt lose this tender growth when you are able to put it back outside for the summer. I wouldn't prune the soft growth off when you do put it back out. I'd wait until new growth appears at the base of the plant, and then trim it back.

    Hope this helps!

    Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Staten Island, NY
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    Rebecca,
    Thank you very much for your reply. I had always thought that these tubers were an essential part of the plant, but not part of the direct reproductive system; ie, that you could cut them off, and produce new plants from them. However, as you stated, they are probably some sort of food storage, or water storage, organs, which I don't think should be excised from the plant.
    I have grown several hundreds of these plants, mostly from cuttings, but a few from seeds. We have to take them in for the winter. I have never grown any from the tubers.

    direct
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    John and Rebecca,

    I do agree with you both. I have some of my rooted cuttings that survive the winter in the ground, but that is not often.

    I agree that the swollen root is a food storage system, just like with a daylily. I truly doubt that you can grow a new plant from these. I have never seen a plant sprout from one either in the ground or in a pot.

    Someone would have to produce scientific proof for me to believe otherwise.

    John, I haven't had a chance to try to propagate one from a single node, but I did notice something strange this past winter. The one planted in higher ground and more protected did not come back. The rooted cutting which I planted in a lower area subject to flooding and more cold did come back. I was really shocked.

    Who would have thought!

    Thanks!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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