How to grow Bougainvillea?
The Bougainvillea is a tropical and vibrant flower that can add a little more color, beauty, and exoticness to your garden. It is a vine plant that climbs trellises and walls and creates a ‘living wall‘ feature in the garden. It also blooms for most of the year, and so your effort will be there for all to see.
But does this mean that growing and taking care of the Bougainvillea is a difficult task? Well, to be fair, anything is difficult if you don’t know how to do it or if you don’t have the right knowledge for it. Which is exactly what this blog is going to give you; your one stop shop for everything about growing the Bougainvillea!
Tip 1: Where will you plant Bougainvillea?
The Bougainvillea can be grown in the ground, in a pot, in a hanging basket or as a climbing vine. Each which adds a different aesthetic to your garden and comes with its pros and cons. All you need to remember is that a Bougainvillea thrives in hot conditions so pick your spot accordingly.
Tip 2: The right temperature and soil
As we’ve already said, look for a proper ‘hotspot’ around your home as the Bougainvillea is a tropical plant. Temperatures should be around 65°F -90°F, so you will have to take them inside during winters. Moreover, your soil needs to be fairly well-drained and have a slightly acidic pH, somewhere between 5.5-6.0. You could add sulfur (decrease) or limestone (increase) the pH as required.
Tip 3: Planting tips
The hole where you plant the Bougainvillea needs to be as deep as the root ball. As you plant, firstly ensure that you’re adding fertilizer in the initial stage (preferably high in phosphate content). Secondly, if you’re planting in a container, ensure that it has proper drainage.
Tip 4: Growing through cuttings
Growing or propagating your Bougainvillea through cuttings is a good way to reduce some of the initial challenges. For this, prepare stems with around 5-9 nodes, remove all foliage and blossoms, put some rooting hormone at the end of the cutting and plant in moist soil. Ensure that the conditions are similar to the above point.
Tip 5: Maintenance and care
The job’s only half done so far, you still need to give your Bougainvillea the best chance to thrive. Don’t water too much as they only need the soil to be fairly damp and moist, not waterlogged. On the other hand, often fertilize as these plants do need a fair bit of nutrition to grow. Use fertilizer in the ratio of 1:1:1.
Remember to bring them indoors for the winter as they don’t like cold temperatures. If you want that beautiful and bountiful Bougainvillea, then you do need to prune! This will give them shape and give more space for the blossoms.
Finally, give them proper support as this vine grows vertically.
There you go, everything to get you started with the Bougainvillea! May it be a rewarding and incredible journey!