Bougainvillea: About growing and care
Written By: Chitra Deep Ashok
Bougainvillea is climber with stiff curved thorns, bushes and flower-like spring leaves which are bright green. It has various species. Some experts say these species vary between four and eighteen. Wikipedia
Scientific name Bougainvillea
Flowering time Summer to autumn
Planting time Spring
Sun Required Full sun
Temperature 18-21 degrees C
Pruning Early spring
Soil Well drained / slightly acidic
Bougainvillea is a hardy plant with clusters of showy flowers. Its flowers are of very vibrant colors. Bougainvillea can be grown on ground or hanging baskets or a large container, fence or a wall. Its leaves are heart-shaped and flowers papery bracts in white, pink, orange, purple, and burgundy, and its branches are thorny. During summer, this tropical climber adorns your garden in a large container. It has over 300 varieties all over the world.
Sun and Temperature:
Bougainvillea prefers full sun. At least 6 hours of sunlight is important for plant. Bougainvillea flowers bloom during the spring in the tropics. The blossoming period lasts 3 to 4 weeks. In the tropics, they continue to bloom perennially. The best time for this flower to bloom is when the temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). The night should have a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. You can put it in your garden during summer, but in winter it should be frost-free.
Soil and fertilizing:
Water doesn’t deposit around the plant. So, well-draining medium is necessary. Use organic compost and sand with soil. Allow low-nitrogen fertilizer before the plant grows and blooms.
In the beginning, watering every day. Once they settle in the soil, bougainvilleas bloom in dry soil. Avoid soil mixes with high peat levels and water retention. These types of media retain too much water and will contribute to root rot. Sunny places and warm temperature are also a must for them to bloom. If possible, keep your bougainvillea outdoors for better blooming.
Remove dead branches while giving a proper shape to the plant. This leads to sprouting of new leaves and flowers. Wear gloves when pruning the plant because there are thorns in its vine.
Bougainvillea in container:
- Choose a large container, because its roots are quite spread. There must be a hole at the bottom of the container for draining of water.
- Use well-drained and slightly acidic soil with a granular fertilizer before planting it. A bougainvillea blooms best when pot-bound so do not be tempted to re-pot unless you must. It is best to leave the plant in its original container until the roots replace all soil and you can’t keep the plant well watered.
- Native to tropical region, Bougainvillea can withstand hot and humid climate. Necessary to daily watering the plant . Better do it on alternative days. In freezing temperature, put the pot under a shed or Bougainvillea may shed leaves. But you need not worry as the plant blooms again as the cold season ends.
Summer or early spring season is the best time for it to plant by cutting. New plants will bloom in 2-3 years.
Bougainvillea is relatively pest-free plant. But even they may be suffering from worms, snails and aphids. The larvae of some Lepidoptera species also can be used as food plants.