Bougainvillea Damaged by Frost - Knowledgebase Question

Bruceton Mills, WV
Question by LAMB528
February 27, 2000
I bought a bougainvillea and planted it in Brooksville, FL (zone 9). I thought it was perennial in FL. We had a cold snap and the leaves browned and died. Did I lose the plant or will it come back?


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Answer from NGA
February 27, 2000

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Bougainvillea is a tropical plant, so it is frost tender. However, in my experience, they come back extremely well. Don't prune it even though it may look unsightly. The damaged leaves will protect the plant if there are further frosts. It helps to protect the plant with burlap, old sheets, or frost cloth if frost is predicted. When new growth starts to appear as temperatures warm, then trim back the dead material. Bougainvillea bloom best if slightly stressed for both water and fertilizer!

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