You must have noticed this plants in parks and at road side. It is easy growing, low maintainenace plant and comes in different attractive shades ranging from pink, orange,white to purple. Famous for papery blossoms bougainvillea can be grown on ground, pots, container and hanging baskets. It is also popular among bonsai lovers.
Choose a pot that is at least 30cm-40cm wide. Choose a heavy pot. This will prevent the pot from blowing over in the rain. The pot should have drainage holes. Bougainvillea plants do not like having “wet feet”.
Bougainvillea has an extremely fine root system, and should be planted in well-drained soils. You can use red garden soil too brought from local nurseries. Fill the container to the top with potting soil and place the bougainvillea plant into the container. Pat the potting soil around the base of the plant and give it a generous watering. Bougainvillea plants thrive most abundantly in containers where they are root bound.
Water the bougainvillea as needed to keep the plant from wilting but no more than this. Do not over-water; allow the soil to dry between watering.
Sun / Temperature
As a tropical plant, Bougainvillea requires full sun. Bring the bougainvillea plant inside when the temperature nears freezing because bougainvillea will not tolerate frosts. If you place the plant in a sunny location, it might continue to grow all winter without going into a dormancy stage. If you place the plant in a shady location, it could go dormant. If the bougainvillea becomes dormant, water the plant only enough to keep the soil lightly damp.
Bougainvillea is not much demanding. Use compost or general purpose fertilizer. In case of liquid fertilizer dilute it to half strength before use. Do not feed in winter as it tends to go in dormant stage.
There are 3 ways of caring Bougainvillea
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Prunning means the act of removing entire branches or major structural parts of the plant. This could be anywhere from several inches to several feet depending on the size of your bougainvillea. Pruning is performed with pruning shears. Pruning a bougainvillea is recommended when entire branches are deterring from the overall shape of the plant, or jeopardizing the structural integrity of the bougainvillea.
Trimming means removing just the ends of branches or shoots. This could be anywhere from an inch to several feet, depending on the size of your plant. Trimming can be performed with hedge shears – either hand-held or electric & gas powered for very large plants. Hand-held hedge shears are recommended for a clean edge and for precise trimming. For professional landscapers trimming miles of bougainvillea, gas-powered hedge shears are very efficient, and get the job done nicely.
Pinching means removing just the very tip of new shoots. Since new shoots are only a few inches in length (that goes for all sizes of bougainvillea), pinching the tip requires removing just an inch or less. New shoots are usually green, soft, pliable, contain tiny leaves or the beginning formation of a bud at the very tip, and ‘snaps’ off easily when pinched. Pinching is usually performed by hand. It can also be done simultaneously while trimming – for any act of removing the tip of new shoots is called pinching, whether by hand or cutting tool. If you do not want to trim your bougainvillea and only want to pinch it, it will have to be done with a pair of compact hand shears or by hand. Wearing gardening gloves is recommended when pinching by hand.
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