The Q&A Archives: Bougainvillea

Question: How much watering should you do when planting a Purple Queen Bougainvillea (Tree shape) in a 15 gallon ceramic pot.

Answer: Knowing how often to water containerized plants takes a little intuition and a little experience. Plants in containers generally have to be watered more frequently than landscape planted plants. The best way to judge when your bougainvillea needs a drink is to explore the soil with your finger. If it's dry 2" below the surface, it needs a thorough soaking. If it's still moist, you can wait a day or two. When you do water, apply enough to thoroughly wet the soil so no air pockets form around the roots. Flood the container until water pours out of the drainage holes and air bubbles stop rising to the surface. Then wait a few days and test the soil for moisture as described above. Your plant will require more water during hot weather and when it is actively growing (spring and summer) than it will during the cooler fall and winter seasons. Best wishes with your new bougainvillea!

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