A lovely garden adds the perfect touch to one’s home. But I kid you not it takes a lot of effort and care to nurture the plans and flowers in the garden to ensure they bloom. And yes, there are a bunch of options out there when it comes to maintenance there is no other like ‘Bougainvillea’ Love it or hate it you can’t go 2 blocks without a bougainvillea sighting in summers. Lots of colors, sizes, shapes, and forms make it a very versatile and widely loved landscape plant.
Bougainvillea is one of those plants that you just have to see to believe. With its breath takingly beautiful flowers and bright gorgeous colors, you sure can’t miss one in full bloom. Bougainvillea plant care isn’t difficult but there are a few things you should know.
BOUGAINVILLEA CARE IN POTS
- Bougainvillea, whether growing in a pot or in the soil, need at least 4 hours of full sun a day, and a ambient sunlight 6 hours. This ensures an abundance of flowering and keeps the plant looking good.
- When it doesn’t get enough sun like when kept inside the homes, the flowering will be lackluster and the plant will look lanky and unhealthy. So, if your bougainvillea isn’t flowering, it could very well be due to lack of sun.
- Bougainvillea growing in pots thrive well with regular watering.
- Bougainvillea is more drought-tolerant once it’s established. It prefers good, deep waterings rather than frequent shallow ones.
- They prefer to have a well drained pot as soggy soil is not a preference and something that really seems to affect the roots. Bougainvillea’s subject to a few types of root rots so don’t over-water. This is where soil comes into play also – it should be well-drained and aerated to help prevent rot.
- Also older plant needs less watering compared to a newly planted one. And in winter watering them once every 2 days is more than enough.
Planting & Repotting
- I will be doing a dedicated post and video on planting bougainvillea in pots which include the soil mix I use, the steps I take.
- Also, let me tell you do not believe people when they say you have to repot bougainvillea every year, I haven’t repotted them and they are thriving. As far as i can tell they don’t like their roots to be disturbed.
- Pruning is essential to bougainvillea care in pots just as it is to those growing in the garden. The extent of the pruning you have to do depends on the size of the bougainvillea you have.
- I do mine towards the end of Indian summers, around 1 st week of June , right before the rains.
- It is important for the bougainvillea to branch and encourage new growth. For that you should pinch the soft tips of the bougainvillea every month when it is actively growing.
- Also a word of advice, any and every variety of bougainvillea have nasty thorns that hurt. So unless you want to look like you got into a fight with a dog at the end of your pruning session i would strongly advice wearing full sleeved shirt and full pants.
- I will soon do a post on how we prune our bougainvillea towards the end of next month, so stay tuned.
- You should feed the bougainvillea plant once every two weeks during spring. During winter, flowering is limited and once every 30 days is quiet enough.
- For your bougainvillea container plant, you can feed a mix of water-soluble fertilizer. Add this fertilizer when you water the plant. You can get a balanced fertilizer such as NPK 20-20-20.
A fun fact about bougainvillea that i recently discovered is that the small white centers are the flowers and the bracts (the colored leaves) are actually what give us those big spectacles of color. Bougainvillea put out a big show of color, drop their colored bracts, set buds, and then flower again. The color comes in waves, usually 2 – 4 times a year.
The colors you can buy bougainvillea in are: white , yellow, peach, orange, light pink, deep pink, magenta, red. Some have 2-toned colors and variegated foliage too. So no matter what your color preference there is a little for everyone.