The bougainvillea plant is ideal for those living in temperate climates and needs an essentially year-round flower extravaganza.
Bougainvillea is known to be a tropical plant that puts on a spectacular show by blooming virtually all year long.
Based on the cultivator, bougainvillea may be planted in pots, on trellises or over planters, up against buildings or fences, as a hedgerow or vegetative cover, a bonsai or a tree.
In addition, bougainvilleas make fantastic container or pot plants that may be planted indoors and outside.
To ensure that the bougainvillea plant thrives and bears its famed profusion of blossoms, you must understand the plant’s demands.
This article will enlighten you with some characteristics of bougainvilleas, the varieties, and helpful maintenance and care tips for flourishing growth.
Characteristics of Bougainvilleas
The iconic tropical plant, bougainvilleas, is renowned for withstanding droughts and producing copious amounts of bright blossoms.
They are known as paper flowers and are native to Central America and Southern Tropics.
The tropical and subtropical regions are home to bougainvilleas, which proliferate and bloom throughout the year.
Wild varieties of resilient plants grow much faster and can ascend over other plants to a height of 30 meters.
Although this isn’t botanically valid, we often speak of the vividly colored bougainvillea blossoms. The bracts’ dazzling hues encircle the small, tubular, and pale flower grown in three bunches.
You may choose from the following bright colors:
A few kinds have two-toned leaves, while some have vividly patterned flowers. Some cultivars with double blooms have additional flower bracts instead of natural blooms.
With their hardiness, adaptability, and love of warmth and sunlight, bougainvilleas are plants that don’t trouble much.
Their stunning bloom, often planted over trellises, may also be appreciated hung in baskets and pots if you cultivate the dwarf types.
All you have to do is prune them twice or thrice every year.
One approach for gardeners in chilly, temperate locations to enjoy bougainvilleas’ blazing hues is to cultivate them as bonsai and exhibit them as striking home or balcony plants.
Since bougainvilleas have been cultivated and crossed for such a long time, botanists debate on the exact variety of species at present.
However, it is generally believed that there are approximately 250 different varieties.
The majority of today’s variations appear to have three ancestors: Bougainvillea peruviana, Bougainvillea glabra, and Bougainvillea spectabilis. The names of the cultivars or the generic term for modern bougainvilleas are both used.
Widely Available Bougainvillea Cultivars
- Solar Flare
- Little Guy
- Golden Ice
- Miss Alice
- Temple Fire
- Singapore Pink
Specie for Gardens and Balconies: Bambino Bougainvilleas
Bougainvilleas now have a new home in little gardens thanks to the compact hybrid Bambino series, which has garnered sterling fame in terms of quality.
Most of them are seedlings or imports from other countries.
Bambinos blossom abundantly and have beautiful, vibrant colors. Bambinos are best suited for pot gardening and compact areas because they typically only grow to 1.5 to 2 meters.
How to Grow Bougainvilleas in a Pot
Although mature plants can tolerate sporadic frosts, bougainvilleas favor an environment free of ice.
Please provide them with a patio or veranda that is sunny and shaded, or plant them near a sunny wall.
If flowers are frost-burned, don’t remove any of the withered leaves before the final frost. Most soils have an acidity that is suitable for bougainvilleas.
Growing them in containers or amending the soil using iron chelating agents is a good option when it is alkaline.
Even during a protracted drought, well-established bougainvilleas planted in the ground require little to no irrigation.
Choosing clay-made instead of plastic as well-drained soil is crucial when growing pots. Cultivating bougainvilleas in pots with cold, moist soil is the leading cause of failure.
The absence of blossoms, withering, or defoliation are some signs. Never place your pot-grown plants on a saucer because root-decaying fungus might destroy them in moist soil.
The roots of bougainvilleas are deceptively delicate. When planting, carefully aerate the soil and incorporate lots of well-rotted compost, not manure, plowed.
Using your hands, carefully pry clogged roots out. And last, avoid putting fresh plants any lower than they were initially in the container, as doing so accelerates deterioration.
How to Maintain and Look After Bougainvilleas?
Bougainvilleas are a blessing for the tropics giving a year-round flower exhibition!
Here are some crucial care snippets for bougainvilleas that will enable you to cultivate them in the optimum conditions.
The first step after purchasing bougainvillea is to transfer it to a bigger container, preferably one made from clay.
Clay-made pots have holes that help eliminate the surplus soil water undesirable for bougainvillea.
Irrespective of the pot’s composition, you must open up space at the base so that any additional water may drain quickly.
It’s best to avoid peat-rich soil because it absorbs too much moisture, increasing the danger of root decay. The soil requirements are discussed further in this section.
Exposure to the Sun
To ensure your bougainvillea grows extensively, carefully place it in a spot that receives around five to six hours of direct sunshine daily.
When bringing the pot inside during the winter, ensure it is in a location where it will get enough sunlight.
Avoid setting a bougainvillea pot right on the ground while planting it on your balcony, as the bougainvillea’s roots will spread through the drainage holes.
When it happens, the source will implant the seed in the ground.
You may position the bougainvillea planter on an elevated platform using crates or bricks or position a litter can underneath the pot.
Be Moderate with Irrigation
Bougainvilleas don’t need to be watered frequently and are pretty drought resistant.
Only when topsoil becomes parched is it a good practice to thoroughly irrigate the plants instead of regular superficial sprays.
Watering them weekly is sufficient throughout the wintertime, during which they are quiescent.
Select the Proper Soil
You must plant bougainvilleas in soil that is well-drained for them to flourish. Planting them in peat moss-rich soil will trigger rot disease, so it’s best to avoid it.
You must keep in mind that you must wait till the soil in the bougainvillea container has dried before watering it a second time. Only water the plant when the soil is parched.
You should confirm it by touching it and determining whether it has dried up to two to four inches deep. Bougainvilleas blossom well while they are stress dried.
It would be best if you watered them enough that the water is quickly drained through the holes made at the pot’s base.
After that, you should discharge any extra water that could have accumulated in the disposal container. It’s done to prevent the soil from staying wet.
Fertilizers Are Important
When in bloom, bougainvillea plants need regular fertilization. However, overuse of fertilizers might prevent flowering.
Giving bougainvillea a 10-10-10 or 7-7-7 treatment once every four weeks is sufficient. Never use a fertilizer that hasn’t been diluted to half its strength.
In the spring, give your bougainvillea plant fertilizer twice in four weeks. The recommended feeding frequency during the wintertime is once every month.
You may give a mixture of water-soluble manure to your container-grown bougainvillea plant. You can dissolve the fertilizers in the water and irrigate the plant.
Look Out for Nutrient Deficiency
It is well-known that bougainvilleas lack certain nutrients. Here are critical indicators of nutrition deficiency:
- When the leaves turn pale green, there’s a nitrogen deficiency
- When the leaves have brown tips and purple margins, there’s a potassium deficiency.
- When leaves become purple or crimson, there’s a phosphorus deficiency
- When the leaves appear curled, there’s zinc deficiency
- When young plants appear wilted, there’s a calcium deficiency.
If you observe any of these symptoms, you should consider purchasing a supplement. Please keep in mind to use them according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Pruning Is Important
These plants have quick and aggressive growth, quickly becoming overgrown!
To maintain their form, give them a small amount of trimming each time they blossom. Wear gloves at all times because most of them bear thorns.
Furthermore, avoid pruning the tips because doing so would worsen the situation as flowers grow on them.
The bougainvillea needs to spread out and promote new growth. When the bougainvillea is vigorously blooming, squeeze the delicate tips of the plant once a month.
Before use, always sterilize the clippers with rubbing alcohol. After the bougainvillea flowering season, always trim the plant.
If you move your bougainvillea pots indoors, they can stop flowering if it doesn’t receive enough direct sunlight.
Avoid the Pests
Pests do not significantly impact bougainvillea. Nevertheless, take extra caution around mealybugs, aphids, caterpillars, snails, and slugs.
You can pluck out the pests yourself, or for protection, you can spray the plants with Neem oil solution.
Your bougainvillea comes up short and hasn’t reached a definite height, so when you notice that the temperature’s likely to drop below zero, you may move the pot inside or to a covered semi-outdoor spot. Make sure your bougainvillea is not close to a heat source.
Even around winter, you must water the plant so that it drains out effectively and look out for any signs of nutritional deficiency.
Personal Safety Precautions
The thorns that are beautifully concealed by the abundant blooms make caring for bougainvilleas a little risky.
You may think about purchasing some gardening gloves to save yourself from sharp thorns if you’ve chosen to cultivate bougainvillea on your balcony or terrace.
Bougainvillea is thought to represent welcoming guests, yet its symbolic value varies depending on where in the world you are. This plant offers so much in return for minimal care.
In conclusion, Bougainvillea varieties can grow in pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, large tubs, or even on the ground.
Bougainvillea is a tropical plant that belongs to the bougainvillea family.
It grows outdoors in warm areas, and indoors in tropical and subtropical climates. Bougainvillea flowers are large, colorful, and fragrant.