boganvilia - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Mj Siciliano
Tampa, FL (Zone 9A)
Avatar for markandmaryj
Question by markandmaryj
March 24, 2006
I saw some beautiful at boganvilia flowers at a local Home Depot and would like to get their history and how to care for them

Answer from NGA
March 24, 2006
Mary Jane,

Bougainvillea has been a popular plant in tropical and semi tropical areas for many many years. It is native to Brazil (South America).

According to the Florida Extension Service, for the best performance out of your Bougainvillea, follow these guidelines:

Keep Bougainvillea on the dry side, especially if you want lots of blooms. Too much water will promote root rot and cause leaves to drop. Don't water on cool nights.
Use a high-bloom fertilizer.

Plant or place Bougainvillea in full sun. As a potted plant, flowers will last for up to eight weeks if kept in a sunny location.
Winter dieback may be a problem if the weather gets too cool, so if you're growing Bougainvillea in a frost-prone area, plant in a protected location or cover in case of frost.

Bougainvillea blooms occur only on new growth, so new growth on plants is vital to the achievement of flowering. Bougainvillea normally flowers during the short days of winter, but blooms are highly dependent on temperature. Drought stress can also stimulate flowering even with long daylight exposure. Growers frequently allow plants to dry just to the point of wilting to induce flowering. However, excessive drying can cause leaf drop and dormancy; use care and be sure to water at first signs of wilt.

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