Perennials forum: Can I cut back my bougainvilleas early?

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Northern Utah
Nov 14, 2017 1:30 PM CST
I'm in southern Nevada and my bougainvillea pots are spectacular, though a few are now starting to drop their leaves and blooms. Unfortunately, I need to leave here for about five weeks for the holidays the end of this week, so am wondering how to handle the pots.
I have six five gallon nursery pots and two or three hanging pots, nearly all in great bloom. When I leave I'll move them to the south side of my house and ask a neighbor to water them a couple times a week. I'm in zone 8b (cold desert) and last year they were fine on the south side of my house (some went dormant and some hung on to a few leaves all winter). My real concern is leaving them with all the leaves on if they don't get watered as much as they should.
If I cut them back hard, it will lower the water requirement for the pots drastically. I know that will encourage new growth, but probably not much before the colder temperatures that force dormancy. Does anyone want to share opinions regarding if cutting them back is a mistake, please? Thanks!
[Last edited by Utnvpa - Nov 17, 2017 5:27 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1586051 (1)
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Feb 16, 2018 10:08 AM CST
Wow, what a nice predicament to be in!!! I am just a total nut-case when it comes to these plants. I have a red, purple, white, pink and a variegated pink in the basement under lights! Invite me down to babysit your plants!! LOL. Cheers.

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