The Q&A Archives: Bougainvillea blossom shedding

Question: I have a Barbara Karst Bougainvillea (14 mos old) facing the warm southern Florida sun which has done beautifully until two weeks ag when it suddenly seemed to shed about 50% of it's blooms in just a few days. It appears health, is still green all over and new branches growing with some new blooms, but one side of the plant is almost bare and it seems to be heading to the other side. There are no signs of any disease nor insect damage. I gave it some 10-10-10 fert yesterday. It gets watered 2x week and nothing has really changed in the environment or care to cause anything that I can think of. Is this a normal trait where it sheds most of its blooms at once and then gradually reblossoms?

Answer: Robert,

That is a bit odd. My first impression is that something is going on in the roots. Drought, soggy soil, root injury, root rot diseases, etc. are possible causes. I would also wonder about any weed likker such as those found in a weed and feed fertilizer that might have reached the bougainvilleas root system. Time is the only solution to such damage and some of the plant may be lost in the meantime.

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