The Q&A Archives: bouganvillea care

Question: Hi!
I seem to be having problems with some some of caterpillar eating ALL of my 5 bouganvillea trees/bushes. My trees are pretty small, planted about 6 months ago and I have 3 other ones in containers. I couldn't figure out what was destroying them until I saw them one evening. They are not large like a caterpillar, the largest I've seen is about an inch long. The only thing that seems to get rid of them is a systemic insecticide, but the trees seem not to flower too much afterwards. The larger tree I had was extremely damaged, but I managed to bring it back to life but now it has never produced a flower since. It's very green and lush but no flowers. I don't know if it is the insecticide that I used. Is there a way to make it flower again? I've used fertilizer for bouganvillea's but it hasn't helped. So, I guess to make a long story short... what's a good insecticide to get rid of these

Answer: Chiara,

When a plant is defoliated like that it uses stored energy to regrow and usually won't bloom for a while after it has releafed. The product you used is fine, but should be used at the first sign of damage next time, before the caterpillars defoliate the plants. Give the bougainvilleas good care, a little feeding and in time they'll be blooming again.

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