Troubles with my Bougainvilleas - Knowledgebase Question

North Miami, Fl
Question by juliang_co
February 6, 2010
Hello my name is Julian.
I'm experiencing problems with my bougainvilleas, I've noticed that the leaves have brown spots and they are crispy. Also they dont bloom much, these bougainvilleas are planted in my garden's soil. I really dont know whats the problem. If you can give me some insight I will really appreciate it. Thank You.

Answer from NGA
February 6, 2010


Bougainvilleas will thrive in almost any soil as long as it is well-drained and fertile. Soils that work for other plants you grow will be fine for your bougainvillea. You must feed your plant with a balanced fertilizer, either dry or water soluable. The key is balance. 20-20-20 with minor elements works fine. Bougainvilleas thrive in full sun. At least 5 hours a day of full sunlight is the minimal light required for good bloom. More hours of direct sun is better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well. In shade or partial shade, you will have nice vegetative growth, but little or no bloom. Bougainvillea has two distint growth cycles: A vegetative growth period for seveal weeks -- when new leaves and stems grow. If the plant receives enough sunlight the plant will form buds during this time. If there is not enough sunlight, the plant will remain in vegetative cycle. A blooming period of several weeks when little or no vegetative growth occurs. The length of time they will bloom is dependent upon the health of the plant and the environment they are in, the more sun and heat, the better. I'd start by pruning your plant to remove the crispy leaves and those with brown spots. Pruning will encourage healthy new growth. Make sure your plant is getting adequate sunshine, is fed on a regular basis, and is watered when the top inch of soil is dry. Hope this answers all your questions!

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