The Q&A Archives: Problem with Purple Queen

Question: I recently purchased a purple queen bougainvillea from monrovia at a local green house. It looked healthy up until a couple of days ago when the purple leaves started to get white spots and now all of the leaves are drooping and dropping. It cannot be the temp because it has been in the high 80's with high humidity. Any idea what the problem could be? Thank you

Answer: The symptoms you describe sound like transplant shock. If you recently transplanted your bougainvillea, that's probably the cause. Bougainvilleas do not like to have their roots disturbed and will sulk for quite a while before perking up again. If the plant is still in the nursery pot, it may be unhappy with its site (which may have different light levels than the greenhouse) or the water it's receiving (too much, too little?) Bougainvilleas bloom in a cycle and they bloom on new wood. Trim the stems back by a few inches to promote healthy new growth. Pruning off the affected leaves will assure that any fungal infection will not spread to the rest of the plant. Make sure your plant has full sunshine and adequate air circulation all around, and water it thoroughly when the top inch or two of soil dries out. Aside from the above, it will only need time to adjust to its new home. Best wishes with your new bougainvillea!

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