Bougainvillea - what kind of plant is it?
Bougainvillea is a popular garden plant. It’s typically a vine, although many use a bougainvillea as a bonsai tree - a beautiful decoration. Some species of this plant are known as paperflower - the flowers look as if made of paper.
Bougainvillea is native to South America. The plant thrives in tropical areas. But it’s popular in the whole world. Because of different climates, the plant isn’t always planted directly in the ground - bougainvillea in pots is a popular decoration as well.
What does a bougainvillea look like?
The name bougainvillea mostly stands for flowering vines - covered with colorful blossom. The flowers appear across the entire length of every branch. They have different shades. Pink ones are the most popular, but bougainvillea can also have colors such as:
What are the varieties of bougainvillea?
There are three main bougainvillea varieties. They are:
- great bougainvillea - Bougainvillea spectabilis
- lesser bougainvillea (paperflower) - Bougainvillea glabra
- Peruvian bougainvillea - Bougainvillea peruviana
Bougainvillea care - placement and soil
Bougainvillea loves sun exposure. Keep that in mind when planting it in the garden, on the balcony or the patio. Make sure other trees on the patio or ornamental shrubs don’t block the sun, otherwise the bougainvillea’s growth and blooming might get hindered.
As for the soil requirements, bougainvillea likes fertile grounds. The soil should be always slightly damp. Regular watering is an important aspect when the temperatures outside rise.
How to care for bougainvillea?
Contrary to the popular belief, bougainvillea is not a difficult plant. If you plant it in the right spot and soil, and water it regularly, the plant should grow beautifully. You can also add certain steps when taking care of bougainvillea to protect it from potential dangers.
Bougainvillea is not a fragile plant. But its leaves are quite delicate. For this reason, as suggested by experts, you should avoid placing the pots in spots exposed to strong winds. It might damage the leaves making the bougainvillea look not as good.
Feeding is another significant aspect. It’s not obligatory, though. But, if you use a good fertilizer for your bougainvillea plant, it will grow much better. How do well-matched fertilizers work?
- They encourage growth
- They keep the plant in good shape
- They quicken blooming
- They enrich the flowers’ colors
Is bougainvillea a perennial?
Perennial plants are becoming popular in many gardens. Note that bougainvillea can easily last at least a few years. Depending on the environment and the way you care for the plant, it might remain from 5 to even 25 years.
Does bougainvillea need trimming?
Trimming is the absolute essential of bougainvillea care. It should be performed during a specific season - thanks to this, the plant’s shape remains beautiful. Experts suggest cutting a bougainvillea’s branches between the end of March and the beginning of April, depending on the weather conditions. This way, the bougainvillea gets strengthened and prepared for the vegetation period.
Bougainvillea care in winter
Bougainvillea originates in tropical areas, so as you may suspect, it doesn’t like low temperatures. If you live in a cold climate zone, make sure to take the pots with bougainvillea inside, where the conditions are better for the plant. Make sure the temperature in the room doesn’t drop below 10°C (50°F), and is not higher than 15°C (59°F).
Bougainvillea - most common diseases
In fact, the owner of the plant poses the biggest threat to a bougainvillea. Too excessive and frequent watering might cause root rot. If this happens, reviving the plant is difficult and the bougainvillea might die.
Small spots on the leaves are a sign of another disease. They typically appear red or brown. If you notice such an infection, make sure to use proven remedies. Spraying the plant with appropriate chemicals should restore the bougainvillea’s good health.
Aphids might pose a serious threat to a bougainvillea. If you notice them, don’t hesitate - use a natural bug-killer spray.
📍 Where to buy bougainvillea seedlings?
You can purchase bougainvillea seedlings in almost every gardening store - it's a popular plant. You can also search for trusted nurseries. If there is no such place in your area - perhaps a local supermarket sells bougainvilleas.
📍 What is the best soil for a bougainvillea?
The soil for bougainvillea must be fertile - it's the most important aspect of taking care of this plant. The ground should be always moist. Water the plant regularly using small doses of water.
📍 Why won't my bougainvillea bloom?
There are many possible reasons for a bougainvillea not blooming. It might result from improper treatment, lack of key nutrients or a disease. You can start troubleshooting by changing the placing of the pot. Alternatively, use a special bougainvillea fertilizer and observe how the plant reacts to it.
📍 When does a bougainvillea bloom?
Bougainvillea is characteristic for the fact that it can bloom throughout the whole year, if provided with good conditions. But it happens only in warm climates. In colder regions, the plant blooms from the end of May until the end of September. These dates change depending on the weather conditions.