am I killing my bougenvellias?? - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, Ar
Avatar for aaronmscott
Question by aaronmscott
July 5, 2010
My septic produces clear non-drinkable water that irrigates plants, including many bougenvellias. I'm told it's great for plants, but the boug's look Terrible!- a couple of green leaves and a couple of red petals per plant, with lots of brown twigs!! They're 2 years old & I'd hoped they'd really fill in this year, but instead they look like death. I changed to water from the hose, but any suggesti

Answer from NGA
July 5, 2010
Since it sounds like your other plants are fine, we can assume the water is okay. Bougainvilleas like full sun and to be a little "stressed" for water and nutrients, actually blooming better under these conditions. Examine your watering practices. Let the top couple inches of soil dry out before watering. Each watering should soak deeply through the root zone, about 18 inches deep, 2 feet as they mature. Watering frequently for short amounts of time doesn't allow water to penetrate deeply enough and salts can build up in the top layers of soil, burning roots. Water deeply, and as infrequently as possible. Stick your finger in the soil. When it's dry to a couple inches down, apply more water.

Also, don?t overfertilize. In the ground, they really don?t need any fertilizer once established; in a container no more than once per month during the growing season or every other month otherwise. Use a product for blooming plants with a higher middle number, which is phosphorus, such as 5-10-5. Phosphorus promotes bloom. Hope this helps.

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