Overview of Bougainvillea
If you dream of growing a lot of colorful flowers for your home or garden, then you’ll love bougainvillea. These ornamental plants come in the form of trees, vines, and bushes. There are so many different varieties of bougainvillea, with most of them found in South American countries like Spain, Argentina, Peru, and El Salvador. However, there are also varieties of the plant found in Thailand, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines.
You can enjoy the bougainvillea throughout the year if the temperature of your environment is consistently warm. Every cluster of bougainvillea consists of 3 to 6 bracts that surround 3 flowers. The flowers themselves usually appear small and white, while the bracts are what possess all the vibrant colors. You’ll find colors like yellow, orange, red, purple, magenta, and pink. This gives you the opportunity to really get creative when arranging the flowers for your home or garden.
How to Plant Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea will bloom a lot if exposed to heat and sunlight regularly. Some species of bougainvillea grow as high as 30 feet, although 8 feet is the average that most people desire. In fact, people who don’t like to do plant maintenance will purchase dwarf varieties of bougainvillea. They only grow up to 1 foot, so they’re not too difficult to care for.
In any case, let’s go over some tips to care for your bougainvillea plant properly.
- Approximately six hours per day of sunlight is recommended for the flower to bloom and grow at its best. It isn’t enough to keep the plant in a warm environment. It must have sunlight exposure to develop those pretty colors that you’re going to enjoy.
- Normally, you’re supposed to keep bougainvillea in an environment with a temperature of over 30°F. Bougainvillea can survive short durations of freezing temperatures, but only if they’re fully grown or close to being fully grown. If you’ve recently planted the bougainvillea, then you should keep them indoors whenever there are freezing temperatures.
- Bougainvillea is more resilient when it comes to drought or lack of moisture in the soil. That is why you’re not supposed to water these plants regularly like other plants. They need to be watered infrequently, but make sure it is a deep watering and not a shallow watering. Do this every month or so, and it should be fine. If you overwater the plant, then its roots will rot. It is imperative that the soil can drain well for this reason.
- When planting the bougainvillea into the ground, the size of the hole should be double the width of the plant’s root ball. The bottom of the soil in the hole must be loosened to allow for proper water drainage. Water buildup would lead to root rot, which you don’t want to happen. Alternatively, if you’re using a pot or container, make sure it has holes on the bottom for water drainage. Keep the width double the diameter of the root ball.
- Compost is the best type of fertilizer to use for bougainvillea. Apply the compost to the soil right after you plant the flower. When springtime rolls around each year, apply another 3 inches of compost on top of the soil. This should supply enough nutrients to the soil to keep it rich and strong.
- One thing you’ll need to worry with planting bougainvillea outside are the pests which feed on it. Aphids, caterpillars, and leafcutter bees are just a few pests that are attracted to bougainvillea. Of course, not every location in the world will have these particular pests, but you can expect some variation of them to exist. The bees are actually helpful to the flowers because they pollinate them. The caterpillars and aphids feed on the leaves, though, so just spray them away with a garden hose if you see them. Insecticides are not recommended.
- Bougainvillea has very sensitive roots. This makes it difficult to transplant the bougainvillea flower from a container to the ground or vice versa. It is recommended that you refrain from transplanting the bougainvillea and just keep it wherever you planted it originally, whether it was in soil or in a container.
If you follow these tips, then your bougainvillea plants should grow just fine. They can survive the wintertime if you practice the art of pruning the leaves before springtime comes again.