Underachieving Bouganvillia - Knowledgebase Question

Lake Forest, IL
Avatar for johnlitchfie
Question by johnlitchfie
January 14, 2006
Three, maybe 4, years ago I purchased a pair of Monrovia bouganvillias. The plants were vining within a teepee-like structure of 3 bamboo poles. I no longer have the tags that came with the plants...sorry.

The plants have never bloomed. Further, the leaves will brown on the edges occasionally.

Yes, I live north of Chicago. In the Summer the plants are placed in a sunny location outside. I over Winter the plants in a sunny garden room. I have 2 hanging pots with bouganvillia that share this life style and do brilliantly. I also have orchids, a half dozen hibiscus tree/bushes, plus other sensitive plant material that are happy.

Early I transplanted the bouganvillia from the Monrovia supplied plastic pot to a larger ceramic pot. I also replaced the 3-legged bamboo supporting structure with a like functioning tall iron 3-legged structure.

I can send digital fotos if you would find that helpful. Send email address for that purpose.

So, what do think is happening, or not happening.

Thanks for your help!

Answer from NGA
January 14, 2006
Some bougainvilleas require heat and long summers to bloom; others will perform well with less heat. I suspect the vining bougainvilleas are either Purple Queen or Barbara Karst (both are popular as annuals in cold winter regions). These need full sunshine and a long, hot summer season to bloom well. If they are over-fertilized they tend not to flower so withhold fertilizer this season and see if that makes a difference. Brown edges on the leaves are also an indication of over-fertilization. These bougainvilleas bloom on new shoots so pruning them back or at least pinching out the tips of the stems should encourage new flowering growth. Hope so!

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