BougainvilleaNot Blooming - Knowledgebase Question

Miami Shores, FL
Question by COHIBART
November 14, 1999
My bougainvillea's are extremely healthy, pest-free and growing so rapidly they have to be trimmed weekly. Bought them approx 3-years ago, 1st year they bloomed, since then very flew blooms. They're in full sun and fed with Miracle Gro plant food accoring to directions on box. Have also tried Miracid, no luck. Any suggestions? Love your plant & lawn food, always great results! Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
November 14, 1999

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You may have to stress your bougainvilleas a bit to coax them to bloom. Usually bougainvilleas are free-blooming, putting out a flush of flowers starting in late summer. But some varieties can be late- or finicky bloomers. Try the following wilt method to stimulate bloom formation. After the main flush of new leaves emerge in spring, cut back on water until the leaves hang straight down during midday. Give the plants only enough water each morning to prevent them from completely drying out. Don't worry if the leaves drop - your bougainvilleas will still be okay. Continue this procedure for two weeks, then begin watering daily, followed by a monthly application of a low-phosphorus, high-potassium time-release fertilizer such as 17-7-10 at a rate of one tablespoon per gallon container size. The plants should bloom well while you are fertilizing them. Keep watering and feeding on this schedule until new leaf growth appears after flowering.

Hope this helps!

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