Ask a Question forum: bougainvillea

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TRACE
May 27, 2014 5:47 PM CST
I have had boginvilla along with other drought and heat tollarent plants and they will not grow. Other then the obvious what can I do do get them going. thx. TRACIE
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 27, 2014 6:43 PM CST
Hi Trace and welcome. Are you plants in the ground or in pots and are they getting the right kind of sun?
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
May 27, 2014 6:53 PM CST
Hi Trace, it would help if you told us your location --- at least what state & what portion of that state. It's possible, especially if you're in Florida, that they are suffering from nematodes but we would need more info. to determine anything really. How long have you had them? What kind of soil were they in when you got them? Did you re-pot them or put them in ground as Annie asks?

I'm a little confused --- do you mean none of the other heat tolerant/drought tolerant plants will grow for you either or is it only the bougainvillea that won't grow?
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 27, 2014 7:12 PM CST
Welcome, Trace and hope we can help you. Pictures of the plants would help us a lot. Location, sun or shade, slope, adjacent trees, or buildings? Closeups are helpful as well.

Just a word here about so-called "drought tolerant" plants. That term doesn't mean you can just plant them and walk away. You still have to help them establish themselves, develop good root systems and acclimate before tapering off the water and fertilizer. A full grown bougainvillea that's been in one place for years is absolutely care free, in general, except you'd need to prune it to keep it from taking over. But young plants take quite a while to establish themselves. Bougies have very fine roots and often don't transplant well.
Elaine

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TRACE
May 30, 2014 4:59 PM CST
I live in Avondale az. My plants are in the approriate soil they get the right amount of water . THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE GROUND FOR 4 PLUS YEARS. TRIED AZ. BEST FRTIZER . NO BURN PRODUCT.THEY ARE IN THE SUN ALL DAY WITH NO DFISTRSACTIONS. JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I HAVE OTHERS THAT ARE BIGGER BUT SHOULD BE HUDGE. THE ARE NOT TO FAR UNDER THE SOIL EITHER. SOME COLOR BUT NOT MUCH. THEY ARE DARK GREEN AND VERY SMALL . GALLON SIZE SMALL.. ANY IDEAS
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 30, 2014 5:18 PM CST
Whoa, I think your caps key got stuck there, ouch. Can you clarify what is meant by 'DFISTRSACTIONS'? Thanks.

How 'bout some photos? That might help.

Did you mulch the soil around the plants? What exactly is this 'appropriate soil'?
Are the plants up against a building? or out in the yard/garden?
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 30, 2014 8:45 PM CST
Well, Phew! A whole day of full sun in Arizona near Phoenix is pretty brutal. I'd suggest for this summer you might try shading one of the plants through the middle of the day and see if that helps. Just a piece of shade cloth suspended over the plant on hoops of wire or something bendy would work. Mulch over the soil to retain moisture and keep the roots cooler would definitely help a lot, too.

What time of day do you water the plants? I would think a deep watering early in the morning would be best. Do you increase the water as the weather heats up? IF not, the plants might actually be going dormant in the middle of summer which would normally be maximum growing time. Decrease the water in winter? IF not, they may be developing root rot in the cooler weather, and loss of roots would slow down growth in warm weather.

You're sure you have the right soil, right amount of water and a good fertilizer, but you do need to look at trying some changes. Are there other people in your neighborhood growing bougainvillea? Is everybody having the same problems you are? That might indicate a soil issue. Have you tested the pH of your soil? If not, maybe ask someone whose bougies are doing well what their secret is.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
May 30, 2014 8:50 PM CST
Bougainvilleas bloom *after* a dry spell. If they are watered on a regular basis then they will not bloom very often or very much. If you're keeping them consistently moist then you need to try letting them dry out some between waterings.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 5, 2014 8:36 PM CST
Hi Trace,

I grow bougainvillea in a container, which I got last year. My area is inland, very dry, very hot and what I find is my bougainvillea loves being watered early in the morning. I do not water at the height of the heat and hot sun. It will be its second year with me, so I am hoping my plant has acclimated already to my surroundings and hopefully in time it will try to make those lovely bracts. Plants do need to get established as mentioned already by others above. I do wish I have better humidity conditions here, but such is our location. So even if my bougainvillea is drought tolerant, it really appreciates the watering it gets. I just do an interval, like every two days, and it will also depend on what our temps are like, if it is only up to the high 80's I can do every 3 days, but if it is forecast to be several days of high 90's and higher, I have to do the watering at least every other day. Otherwise the leaves will dry out so fast.

I also grow succulents and other drought tolerant plants but all of them are in containers. As the season change, I move the containers, the more sun loving ones more exposed to the sun, and the less tolerant succulents, are towards the shade. What makes my plants survive especially during our heat waves, is the extra shadow from the canopy of the city trees. If not for that, it will be really hard to grow the plants, succulents or otherwise. If you think about it, in true desert-like areas, there are not much plants there. They just cannot stand the intense heat of the sun, and lack of moisture. I deep water the containers sometimes once a week or in those extremely long heat wave, I find I have to do a mid-week watering. Come fall and winter time, I hardly water, that is the time we have rain here.

I do not know your exact planting conditions, nor what type of soil you have there in your area. You may have to find ways to shade your plants, and maybe add misters around to help with the moisture needs. Drought tolerant plants still need to be deeply watered too especially during the very warm days, but do it early in the morning if you can, or early evening, or whatever is your city's regulation about watering.

Also when heat is so intense, most plants do shutdown, they try to conserve their moisture, so often times the growth of the plant is smaller, and they start dropping some leaves as it redirects moisture to other parts of the plant.

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