Ground-Layering Techniques Using Disposable Cups

The Mandevilla is one of our favorite vines. It comes in shades of red, pink, white and yellow. It is a rather finicky vine in that it cannot tolerate its roots being wet most of the time.

For this reason, several of my mandevillas were planted in garden pots in the porch. The roofed porch protects the mandevilla pot's soil from getting soaked from the strong rains. Its location, however, receives plenty of sunlight in the afternoon.

Mandevillas Grown in the Porch

Shown below are two mandevillas in the porch. The one on the left with the broad leaves is the variety that produces white flowers while the one on the right has red flowers.

The mandevillas didn't have trouble growing because I put up a small trellis on the faux stone panel on a concrete post in the porch.

The vines easily climbed the trellis on the post and flourished. After a year, the two vines have become healthy and vigorous as shown below.

These vines would put out a spectacular show of flowers and many passersby would marvel at them. With the vines getting taller and their branches longer and more mature, I've thought of propagating the mandevillas.

Propagation of the Mandevilla

I've had little success propagating the mandevilla (especially the red) through stem cuttings. I've also tried the air-layering or marcotting technique, but with minimal success. I've read and learned that mandevillas respond well with ground layering.

But how do you perform ground layering techniques when the vines are planted in garden pots and placed on a concrete floor in the porch? The place is ideal for growing the vines but it isn't ideal for ground layering. The mandevilla pots have soil, but it would be too crowded to bury the long vine branches in the mandevillas' garden pots.

Ground-Layering or Soil-Layering the Mandevillas

A workaround to the obvious problem is to utilize pockets of soil or potting media for ground-layering. This can be achieved by using disposable small plastic containers.

However, it is a bit difficult and awkward to ground-layer in these containers. Putting these containers with ground-layered vine branches anywhere puts them in danger of being disturbed and eventually getting toppled or overturned.

How to Ground-Layer the Vines using Disposable Containers

Securing the containers to sturdy and stable objects is one solution to prevent the containers from being disturbed or turning over. The procedure to propagate the mandevilla vines is simple and easily done with disposable materials.


  • Coco dust or potting soil
  • Disposable plastic cups, margarine tubs or trays
  • Plastic Stool with ventilation holes or Plastic Mesh Bin
  • Twist ties or thin wires


  • Pliers
  • Nail
  • Candle
  • Pruning Shears or Scissors


  1. Using a pair of pliers, heat the pointed end of a nail in the flame of a lighted candle for two minutes as shown below.

(See Part 2 for the continuation of this article)

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