Packing for a tropical vacation

With an expected frost within the next two weeks, it’s time that I start thinking about moving our tropicals to their winter homes. Thanks to the hospitality of friends who have a four-season sun room in their home, our mandevilla and passiflora vines have a safe place to overwinter until their early spring return to our front porch and deck.

Before their transport, I wanted to clean out any dead vines and wire them securely to the trellis and stakes to make the plants more compact in their winter home. The dead vines were easy to remove with bare hands and a pair of bypass pruners. I untangled the vines that had grown “out” instead of up, and wired them with clip twist plant ties (left). These are by far the best method I’ve ever discovered of wiring vines to a trellis.

The two mandevilla pictured (a red variety of unknown cultivar) were purchased in a two for one sale at Sid’s Greenhouse in Palos Hills, IL earlier this summer. They graced our front entryway and bloomed continually and prolifically all season long. Even with the cooler nights (in the 40s) that we’ve been having lately, they have performed well. A few days ago, I moved them to our back deck so that they would get more afternoon sun and thrive until I can transport them to their winter home.

In the next week, I’ll be packing these vines up along with their other heat-loving botanical bretheren up and sending them off for their winter vacation in the tropics.

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Published by Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.


  1. A year ago I bought a 2 pack of those twist ties at a dollar store. This year I ran out and they didn't carry them anymore.

    I think gardeners should hoard those ties because you always have a use for them in the garden.



  2. Wow, Sid's is quite a trek from your neck of the woods. I'm further south in the Chicago 'burbs now, but used to live not far from Sid's. It was one of my favorite places to shop back then.



  3. This is a test to true friendship! Not many people would agree to house others' plants…though I definitely would if they were beautiful as these 😉 Happy Belated, Chris!




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