The Q&A Archives: Bougainvillea

Question: I have a boganvilia that is approx 1 year old. The plants have grown well, but I am not getting any flowers. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Bougainvillea has been a popular plant in tropical and semi tropical areas for many many years. It is native to Brazil (South America). According to the Florida Extension Service, for the best performance out of your Bougainvillea, follow these guidelines: Keep Bougainvillea on the dry side, especially if you want lots of blooms. Too much water will promote root rot and cause leaves to drop. Don't water on cool nights. Use a high-bloom fertilizer. Plant or place Bougainvillea in full sun. As a potted plant, flowers will last for up to eight weeks if kept in a sunny location. Winter dieback may be a problem if the weather gets too cool, so if you're growing Bougainvillea in a frost-prone area, plant in a protected location or cover in case of frost. Bougainvillea blooms occur only on new growth, so new growth on plants is vital to the achievement of flowering. Bougainvillea normally flowers during the short days of winter, but blooms are highly dependent on temperature. Drought stress can also stimulate flowering even with long daylight exposure. Growers frequently allow plants to dry just to the point of wilting to induce flowering. However, excessive drying can cause leaf drop and dormancy; use care and be sure to water at first signs of wilt. Thanks for the question. Please stop in again soon!

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