help feeding bougainvillaea - Knowledgebase Question

Spring Valley, CA (Zone 8B)
Avatar for chuckskier20
Question by chuckskier20
May 3, 2007
the plant is on an incline.. gets sun in the am until after noon. It is really stuggeling. We have just moved in...
How can we fix the soil so the roots have water?
What food would be best? How often should we feed?

thank you.. phyllis

Answer from NGA
May 3, 2007
Bougainvilleas can take a year or two to become established before they look healthy so if your plant is relatively new, just water it regularly and it will eventually begin to look attractive. Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders and respond best to feeding every week or two with half-strength water soluble fertilizer, e.g., Peter's 20-20-20, Excel 21-5-20, Miracle Grow or Rapid Grow. With full sun and consistent feeding, the plants will bloom at least 11 months of the year. Straight hibiscus food has also been a very successful fertilizer.

Bougainvilleas flower best under stress. Keep the plant slightly on the dry side. Water thoroughly, then allow to become moderately dry between waterings. They respond extremely well to stress, such as drought and heat, and reward you with excellent bloom.

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