Why Do My Flowers Drop Off My Bougainvillea? - Knowledgebase Question

Sacramento, CA
Question by rvansac
June 25, 2003
I have several bougainvillea plants in my yard, they are all now established and grow in full sun. However when they flower the flowers are short lived and after 4 to 6 weeks all drop off. I use a drip system to water my plants for 15 mins each day as I live in Sacramento Ca. and the current average temp is 90 degrees and hot. In the fall and winter I reduce to 15 mins 1x each week. Should I now not give them any water now that they are established? Is that why the flowers are dropping off? I just returned from San Diego and noticed that most Bougailvillea are not watered but are full of flowers. Is that the secret?

Answer from NGA
June 25, 2003


 Bougainvilleas appreciate regular water during the growing season, especially in central California where summer weather is hot and dry. The bougainvillea plants that have almost naturalized in San Diego and Hawaii have done so because of the humidity inherent in those areas. That's their secret to vigorously growing (and blooming) plants! Bougainvilleas should bloom almost continually during the growing season, but that's not to say that individual flowers will last that long. Generally, new flowers are produced in such abundance over a long season that gardener's rarely notice when older flowers die off and new ones replace them.

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