Mandevilla laxa

orchids41July 17, 2007

I paid a pretty penny for one of these, which I ordered from Wayside Gardens in SC. Its common name is Chilean Jasmine, and, supposedly, it is heavily night. Neither I nor anyone else can detect an iota of fragrance. Does anyone else grow this, and has anyone else's been scented? judy

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I ordered one a couple of years ago and I can't even get the stinkin' thing to bloom!

I have a freind that also has one and she says she couldn't smell anything so she got rid of it.

I hate it when I buy something for the fragrance and it has little or no smell....waste of money!
I have purchased numerous plant over the years that claim to be "highly fragrant" and they are not. I am sure many of these companies are very aware that the plant they are selling doesn't smell. They might have made a few bucks off me with one purchaes, but I will not order from them again. I consider it false advertising so who knows what else they are not honest about.
Sorry for the rant!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:29PM
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No need to apologize for the rant, 'cause I feel the same way. My plant is growing on the west side of the house but is shielded by tall pines from the hot afternoon sun. It gets watered by the sprinkler system twice a week and is covered in clusters of 2"-3" white flowers. It's a pretty little vine, but I'd never have bought it without all hype about its being as fragrant as a gardenia. Maybe I should send Wayside a copy of *our* rants?!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 9:55PM
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homernoy(z8b Bemerton)

Hi Judy,

It's too bad you get no fragrance from your Mandevilla laxa. I have only had one for about four years, but is is very fragrant. I have two Gardenia's as well, 'Chuck Hayes' and some other variety that I bought as an indoor plant and put it in my garden.

I love both, but the Mandevilla has that something. I probably prefer it to Gardenia. That of course is just an opinion, and with fragrance one persons love is anothers dislike.

Could it be that the heat and humidity might have something to do with this problem? I noticed you and ariel were in Florida. Here is a pic of mine, probably blooming later than in your area with all of the wonderful warm weather! Take care.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 12:50PM
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I have one that refuses to bloom again. Each winter I bring it in and nurse it through the winter, then put it out in full sun for the summer. Nothing. Maybe I need to "forget" to bring it indoors this fall .....

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 12:32PM
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Hey Brian! I'm envious of your fragrant laxa. I wrote to Wayside and explained the situation. Their horticulturist suggested that I check it for fragrance in the heat of the day, as the oils in the plant should make the scent most noticeable then. Well..........needless to say, it's not a lack of heat, day or night, that's the problem with mine. This is Florida IN JULY, for Pete's sake.
As for bringing it in, dunsmoir, I think it's deciduous and fairly hardy. Of course, I don't know what zone you're in.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:04PM
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This is too funny. I had another e-mail from Wayside's horticulture department today. I had suggested that they check out this forum, just to prove that I wasn't the only one with a scentless Mandevilla laxa. Now they say it must be the *cooler* temperatures that bring out the fragrance. Wish they'd make up their minds, or at least lay off all the hype about this plant's fragrance. Live and learn not to believe everything you read in a plant catalog, I suppose.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:02PM
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snasxs(7-8 VA)

Judyfl, they are described as lightly fragrant.

To understand what is lightly fragrant: first you have a thorough shower and rinse out your nose with cool clear water.

Then immediately run out, in your towel, to smell an open flower in your yard. If your first inhale has an impression of some kind of sweetness, then it is called lightly fragrant.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:59PM
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I can just picture myself doing that. If I schedule the "sniff test" in advance, my neighbors would probably pay good money to watch!! Then I'd have some extra dough to replace my Mandevilla laxa. It's a thought.// Maybe I'll put a sambac jasmine in that spot. There's no question but that it's fragrant, and it's a pretty, trouble-free plant even when it isn't blooming. judy

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 8:33AM
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I am happy to report that the horticulturist at WG has issued me a credit on my non-fragrant mandevilla. I've read uncomplimentary comments about this company on the web in the past, but I've always found them to be nice people to deal with...after all, they *are* fellow South Carolinians, so that makes them o.k. folks in my book. My mother used to do business with them when I was a child, and that was longer ago than I care to remember. The End.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 10:46AM
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This has happened to me so often, most recently early this year when I bought a plant labelled 'Jasminum sambac' with a picture showing typical white jasmine flowers. The plant was heavy with unopened buds ... when they opened a few weeks later, they were completely scentless. (Who knew that there was a scentless J. sambac?)

Anyway, I've grown Mandevilla laxa in a temperate climate (in Melbourne), and can tell you that it is scented. You don't have to have a shower first to smell it.

Since moving to the subtropics, I've seen a plant in the nursery called Mandevilla laxa '[cultivar name: something like Alice du pont??]'. Obviously I can't remember the cultivar name, but the picture showed a large, plastic-looking white flower similar in size and shape to the unscented common pink and red forms of Mandevilla. (These unscented one have a more rigid flower that doesn't hang down like the scented one.) I suspect that your unscented one was probably this cultivar. It seems they've bred the plant for larger flowers and completely lost the scent in the process--like tomato breeders who breed for size and shelflife without regard to taste!

I guess the lesson is to buy scented plants in flower.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 6:00PM
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monarch_girl(5/6 MI)

I started my M. laxa vines from seed and I really hope that when mine starts to flower it will be fragrant. So far the leaves look like the plant that is pictured but I don't have any more info than that. I can't wait for it to flower.

Has anybody grown one from seed before? I am wondering how many years that will take. I suppose it depends on the growing conditions and if it can survive another year overwintering in the basement.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:38PM
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jeelli(5/6 CT)

I purchased a Mandevilla Laxa from Wayside Gardens in June. I love the fragrance- it has a light clean scent, like African Gardenia or Bouvardia. I don't feel it is at all like the very sweet heavy scent of Gardenias. I live in CT, and it's done well considering our rollercoaster weather.
Has any New Englander gotten their Mandevilla Laxa to bloom after being indoors for months??? (I just brought all of my plants in for the winter)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 7:40PM
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Can anyone suggest a nursery that has Mandevilla suaveolens/lax plants known to be definitely fragrant?

Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:28AM
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hi, i'm in MA and i brought in a gorgeous mandevilla. this has been it's first year and it was doing great outdoors. i brought it onto the sunroom(which gets down to maybe 45 in the winter) and it was doing ok, i then thought it was getting too cold out ther so i brought it inside with plant lights and it losing all of it's lower leaves. i'm not sure if i should put it back onto the sunroom and risk the cold or leave it in and risk losing all the leaves. any thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:21AM
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It might be too dry and dim inside. As long as the temps in the sunroom don't go below 45 it should be fine in there. I'm keeping my regular mandevillas (not my laxa which are just tiny seedlings) in a greenhouse that only has the heater kick in if it dips below 40 and they look good. Daytime temps in the GH this time of year are usually between 60-70 if it's sunny out.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 3:51PM
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I'm growing one in a small back garden in sunny (not) old London.

It is lightly fragrant but the scent is nothing like Gardenia; more aniseed-y to my nose.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 10:22AM
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