The Q&A Archives: Care of Bougainvillea

Question: My Bougainvillea is not doing as well as my neighbors. What can I do?

Answer: It could be that your bougainvillea is not getting the same amount of sunshine, water, fertilizer or pruning as your neighbor's plant is getting. Bougainvilleas grow best in full sunshine and regular applications of water; water deeply when you do water to encourage deep, drought-tolerant roots. Feed every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a liquid fertilizer (i.e. Miracle-Gro). You can also try pruning it back a bit. Pruning encourages new growth and since bougainvilleas bloom on new wood, pruning should encourage lots of flowers. One final consideration - bougainvilleas perform on about a 6 week cycle. They grow leaves, then produce flowers, then rest for a few weeks. They repeat this cycle nearly all year around in your mild climate. Best wishes with your garden!

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