The Q&A Archives: No Blooms on Bougainvilla

Question: We have 3 bougainvilla vines on their own trellis against the same wall. The center plant blooms well. The plant on the left may not get enough sun. The plant on the right receives the same exposure, but still no blooms. The leaves are healthy, no yellowing, and no dropping of leaves. We have fed them with proper mixture and careful about the water they receive. What is the problem?

Answer: It does sound perplexing, but bougainvilleas can refuse to bloom for almost any reason. The fact that they look healthy is good - that means they have the potential to bloom. Sometimes they just need more time to mature and sometimes they need a little encouragement. Bouganivilleas bloom on new shoots so pruning the reluctant one back a little will encourage new shoots, which will hopefull bloom. If this doesn't work, try a little root pruning (sever some of the roots by setting the blade of your spade on the ground 8-10 inches away from the main stem of the plant and stepping down so the spade goes straight into the soil its full depth). Root pruning usually shocks a bougainvillea into waking up and producing blooms.

Hope these suggestions help!

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