Who is Your Mandevilla? A Friend, Client, Guest, or Member Who Requires Specific Attention

They are called “rail riders”. A deck box planter that is designed to hold flowers and stay on the railing of your deck. When our sinking deck was replaced last year, the railing was too wide for my previous hanging arrangements. I found my rail riders at a company in Vermont.

I started this project in May. My goal is always to be finished with my potted plants on the deck and all planting by Memorial Day weekend. I had five rail rides to fill. The centerpiece of each box was a tropical vine flower called Mandevilla. I added three other flowering plants to each box at varying heights. Overfilled is how I like them to look.

We probably eat dinner on the deck at least 5 days a week. Through June and early July every night we would comment on how great the flowers looked. This is a minor miracle since I tend to kill each plant, at least once in a season.

I water every single day. Even when it rains I usually water the potted plants. What seemed like overnight one mandevilla died. Boom, gone. Before I could do anything about it, a second one died. No real hints of illness, just dead

I called Graf’s and explained my deaths. I wanted to know what I could have done differently in order to save the three remaining riders. The expert asked me questions that I would then go to the deck and try to answer.

This is what I think I found out: although I was watering the whole box enough for four of the kinds of flowers, I was not watering the mandevilla enough. They won’t fight for water. They get “stressed”. I needed to water them separately.

So each morning after Natcha’s insulin shot, I water the mandevillas. Then later in the day I water the entire rider.

What I learned is that some flowers need more attention and more water than others. I could say I was watering them enough. That didn’t change the fact that it wasn’t enough for the mandevillas.

Do you have a member, client, guest that requires more attention than others? Who is your mandevilla?

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