The Q&A Archives: Annual Or Perennial

Question: I have a Purple Queen Bougainvillea and I am wondering if this is a perennial or an annual? I live in Wisconsin and was wondering if I need to dig this out and bring inside for the winter or if I can leave it any maybe cover it or something. Any feedback on how to preserve this would be helpful. Thanks


Bougainvillea is a perennial plant in mild-winter climates. In your gardening region a bougainvillea left outdoors during the winter months will die. Bougainvillea resents having its roots disturbed so if you want to keep the plant alive, you'll need to carefully pot it up and then move it indoors for the winter months, taking it back outdoors in the spring after the weather warms. Don't replant it in the garden, but keep it in a container for easy transportation from outdoors to in as the seasons change. Once you've potted it up, bring your plant indoors each evening and take it back outdoors during the day to gradually acclimate it to life indoors. Keep it in for longer and longer periods of time until it is indoors both day and night. Expect some leaf drop during this acclimation period. Provide moist but not soggy wet soil, and bright light while your bougainvillea is indoors. Next spring reverse the acclimation process and allow your plant to live outdoors for the spring and summer months. Best wishes with your bougainvillea!

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