The Q&A Archives: Dying Flowers on Purple Queen Bougainvillea

Question: I have a large Purple Queen Bougainvillea tree that I have in its original pot on my deck. It receives full sun and I am watering it a little every other day when the soil feels very dry. I live in Zone 4. The flowers are turning brown and falling off or turning white-ish (like tissue paper) and falling off. I am worried. What can I do???

Answer: Bougainvilleas grow in bloom over and over again during the summer months. They're usually on a 6 week cycle so what you are seeing might be quite normal for your plant. Typically they grow, bloom, then rest. When they're finished resting they grow and bloom again. Bougainvilleas will grow in moist to somewhat dry soils. It's okay to let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings, but when you do water, be sure to apply enough to thoroughly wet the soil. Plants in containers can develop air pockets so every 2-3 weeks it might be helpful to immerse the nursery container in a larger container of water. Leave it there 15-20 minutes the allow excess water to drain. This will force out any air pockets and ensure the rootmass is thoroughly saturated.

Best wishes with your bougainvillea!

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