Purple Queen Bougainvillea - Knowledgebase Question

Clintonville, WI
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Question by ulmie
October 8, 2004
How do I care for the Purple Queen Bougainvillea in the fall and winter months?

Answer from NGA
October 8, 2004
You should be able to get your plant to bloom indoors because bougainvilleas are cyclical bloomers like roses. They bloom for about five to six weeks and then form new leaves and stems. Once the vegetative growth has matured, new flowers and the colorful papery bracts that surround them should emerge. In order to keep this bloom cycle going, your bougainvillea will need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Because this will be difficult in your climate during the winter, you?ll need to purchase a grow light for the plant.

Water the plant thoroughly and then let it dry out to a depth of about one-inch. Many bougainvillea growers recommend letting the plant dry out to the point where the leaves start to wilt before watering. This quasi-stress-inducing routine seems to encourage the plant to bloom. Keep the room temperature above 60?F to encourage growth, and fertilize with a liquid fertilizer at half strength each time you water. To keep the plant bushy and at a manageable indoor size, cut the plant back after it blooms. Main stems should be cut back by one-third and side branches to within an inch or two of the main stem.

Good luck with your plant!

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