The Q&A Archives: Bougainvillea Losing Blooms

Question: We bought a bougainvillea covered with beautiful blooms, took it home, repotted it in a larger pot, put it in a warm, bright spot and watched all the flowers drop off one by one. Is this a normal adjustment to its new environment or is something wrong? If it revives, how often would you recommend watering and fertilizing?

Answer: Bougainvillea often respond to change this way, especially if coming from ideal growing location into the typical home environment. Repotting may also have shocked it into dropping its blooms. The best you can do is keep it in the brightest window possible and keep the soil barely moist until spring. Temperatures in the 60s are best for overwintering it indoors. In spring, trim the plant back lightly and begin a regular fertilization program with a water soluble fertilizer for blooming plants to encourage growth. Keep the plant in as bright a location as possible (outdoors is fine once temperatures stay above about fifty to fifty five degrees at night; move it into the real sunlight gradually over several weeks time) water to keep the soil on the dry side, and wait for the next bloom cycle to occur.

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