The bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) is an evergreen, woody vine that originated in Brazil. It is a climber that can be trained as a bushy pot plant, a hanging basket or as a plant 3 to 4 feet high. The vibrant color of bougainvilleas comes from the three large, paper-like bracts that surround the tubular white flowers.
How To Grow And Care For Bougainvillea
Be sure that you are wearing garden gloves. Bougainvillea have thorns. First, I dug a hole two times the size of the pot. I prepared the soil by combining planting mix, soil, and starter fertilizer. Gently turn the turn the pot upside down placing your hand over the top of the pot. Gently shake the pot and the plant will come right out. Be careful not to damage the root system. Place the plant in the hole so that the top of the root ball is slightly above ground level. Back fill and pack the prepared soil gently but firmly.
Sun and Temperature
This plant prefers full sun. At least 6 hours of sunlight is important for the 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 the summer, but in winter it should be frost-free.
Mature plants can be heavy feeders. Here are some quick fertilizer tips. High phosphorus with micronutrients, as well as additional iron and magnesium. Timed or slow-release fertilizer like this one are acceptable. Make sure you follow the fertilizer label. Plants grow best with small amounts of nutrients constantly available
Do not apply fertilizers to dry soil – Do not overfertilize – in this case less is better than more, also check out applying water-soluble fertilizer.
In the beginning, water 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 plant outdoors for better blooming.
Remove dead branches while giving a proper shape to the plant. This leads to the sprouting of new leaves and flowers. Wear gloves when pruning the plant because there are thorns in its vine.
Pest and disease
The best part about this flower is that it won’t suffer from many diseases or pests. Still, there are some which need to be pointed out and prevented if possible. Majority of diseases such as leaf spots will appear when you water over foliage. Remember, don’t do this! Bougainvillea grows as a thick bush, and those leaves which are overlapping will almost certainly catch some kind of disease. Add water to the ground instead. As for the pests, spider mites, thrips, and caterpillars might invade the garden, but they are easily solved by applying strong water stream to knock them off. Also, insecticidal soap can do wonders in cases of heavy infestation.