Care of Bougainvilleas

Bougainvilleas can be grown to the size and shape required. You can grow them as Bonsai, standard, bush, hanging baskets, espaliers, pyramid or over and arch or the ceiling to provide shade.

Bougainvillea has a long life span – at Westdale Nurseries, we have a 200 year old Bonsai in our show house. Treat your bougainvillea as a pelargonium and you can't go wrong!

Position

Full sun - can be grown on a windowsill, in a porch or a conservatory. The plant can be placed outside during summer.

Water

Give the plant a good soak and then allow to dry between watering in the summer. Water sparingly in the winter.

Feeding

Feed every 7 days from mid-February to October. We recommend Vitax 301, a high nitrogen feed for encouraging growth development. When growth is sufficient, change to a high potash feed and we recommend Vitax 111 for this to enhance colour development of the bracts. Before the bracts are at their best, we revert to Vitax 301 to encourage the next young shoots that will continue produce bracts. NB: do not feed plant on dry roots. If due a feed and is overly dry, moisten today and feed tomorrow.

DO NOT EXCEED DOSAGE of 1 level teaspoon per 2 gallons of water.

Potting

Bougainvillea is best grown in terracotta pots. Keep the bougainvillea fairly pot bound. Do not repot plants until they have acclimatised to your conditions (2-3 weeks). When potting, support the rootball, placing compost into position and water to settle.

DO NOT COMPRESS THE ROOTS. In warm weather, you may find it beneficial to soak the pot in water before repotting. We use Vitax Q4 potting compost.

Pruning

Our main pruning is carried out at the end of February. You can prune lightly after each flush of flower.

Temperature

Bougainvillea must be kept in a frost-free position in winter. The plant can be stored at 2-3°C. Under 1O°C will tend to go deciduous but it will leaf up again when it gets warmer.

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