Bougainvillea: Expert Tips About Care And Grow
Bougainvilleas shine impressively when they are in full bloom. You can find important tips about buying and caring for bougainvillea here. Bougainvilleas ( Bougainvillea ) are not only known as a splendid and decorative plant in warmer countries but are also enjoying growing popularity in this country. The exotic flower, which botanically belongs to the family of the miracle flower plants ( Nyctaginaceae ), is, unlike at its place of origin in the USA, only kept in the tub. Buying a bougainvillea is still worthwhile in any case. We show how you can grow the colorful blooming flower in your garden and which points you have to pay attention to.
Bougainvillea: characteristics and origin
The bougainvillea is a genus that includes a large number of species. Originally native to South America, it is valued as an ornamental plant in many areas of the world, although it only thrives outdoors in tropical to subtropical areas. A characteristic feature of the plant is the ever-shining bracts, which, similar to the poinsettia, are often mistaken for the flowers of the plant. In fact, the actual flowers above the bracts are rather inconspicuous with their white-yellowish color and small size. The bougainvillea is typically characterized by three bracts per flower and three flowers on one inflorescence, which has also given it the name of the “triple flower”.
Bougainvillea spectabilis: The beautiful triplet flower
A particularly popular type of bougainvillea is the Brazilian Bougainvillea spectabilis with its bright bracts. In addition to the classic variety with pink-violet flowers, there are also those with white or yellow-orange bracts. While the exotic grows wild in the Amazon, the shrub shape in this country is perfect for culture in the bucket.
Buying Bougainvillea: Valuable Tips
To give your garden a southern touch, buying a bougainvillea is sure to be a good choice. When buying, be sure to pay attention to the following aspects:
- Variety: As a rule, only bougainvilleas of the species Bougainvillea glabra are used in garden centers. The species is also known as the bald triple flower and impresses with its pink-violet bracts and climbing habit.
- When: It’s best to buy your bougainvillea in spring or early summer so that it is worth buying for the summer. In addition, you generally have a larger selection of varieties during this time, while buying them during the winter months could be difficult.
- Health: When buying, be sure to check the entire plant and the soil for pests or diseases. When buying a sick bougainvillea, other plants at home can also be infected, so you should always keep an eye on the quality of the planting material.
Planting bougainvillea: instructions
After you buy a bougainvillea, it should be repotted straight away. Because the exotic plant is considered to be fast-growing and therefore needs a large bucket as a planter. In the following, we will show you what you need to look out for when planting bougainvillea.
What is the right location for a bougainvillea?
With its tropical background, it is no wonder that the triple flower loves warmth. A very sunny and sheltered place in the garden is therefore ideally suited for the exotic. Depending on the size, it can also make sense to provide a climbing aid. As a rule, a place directly on the house wall is perfect, as it is both warm and protected there.
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Which substrate for a bougainvillea?
Bougainvilleas are usually very easy to care for and do not have very high demands on the soil. Make sure that the substrate is permeable and free of peat. Organic potting soil meets these requirements perfectly and also contains all the nutrients necessary for bougainvillea.
When planting the bougainvillea you should keep these points in mind:
- Large bucket with sufficient volume
- Warm, bright, and protected place in the garden (e.g. on the house wall)
- High-quality and peat-free organic potting soil
Caring for bougainvillea: fertilizing, cutting
The care of bougainvilleas is not a science, but even with the tropical plant, some aspects have to be considered, from watering to fertilization to cutting.
Water bougainvillea properly
Watering a bougainvillea regularly is important so that the plant can grow properly, especially in summer. Water is also a decisive factor for flower formation – so ideally keep the substrate consistently moist. In addition to severe drought, overwatering should also be avoided in order to prevent root rot. In winter, during hibernation, shut down watering so that the soil does not get too wet.
Watering a bougainvillea regularly is important so that the plant can grow properly, especially in summer
Fertilize bougainvillea properly
Bougainvilleas delight every garden owner with their lush flowers, which can appear for several months. The basic requirement for blooming from early summer is optimal care of the bougainvillea throughout the summer. In addition, the strong growth of the plant can be promoted. For fertilization, compost should be added to the bucket before planting and repeated with each repotting. In addition, the use of organic liquid fertilizer is recommended. Organic flower and balcony fertilizer are simply administered via irrigation water and ensures particularly magnificent and beautiful flowers.
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Skillfully cut bougainvillea
A bougainvillea can become very expansive within one summer, so it is possible to cut the bougainvillea several times a year. The most important pruning of the year should always be done in spring before the leaves shoot. At this point, use the scissors where twigs have grown larger in the last year and get the bougainvillea back into shape. Depending on the growth, a slight cut during the summer can also be useful to prune the plant a little. Finally, it is customary to cut it before moving to winter quarters to keep the plant compact. Cutting bougainvilleas not only ensures more compact growth but also stimulates the plant to develop new shoots and thus flowers.
The most important cut of the year should always be done in spring
When caring for the bougainvillea, the following aspects should be taken into account:
- Moderate, organic fertilization in summer
- Watering regularly, especially during flowering
- Stronger cut in spring; easy pruning in summer and before wintering
Bougainvillea: hardy or not?
Due to their origin in the tropical regions of South America, bougainvillea does not have a high tolerance for cold temperatures and certainly not for frost. Overwintering outside of winter quarters is therefore not possible in Germany and would lead to the death of the plant. Proper wintering of the bougainvillea is therefore essential in order to be able to enjoy the exotic for many years.
In autumn the bougainvillea withers and loses its leaves
Successfully overwintering bougainvillea
For the correct overwintering of the bougainvillea, it is important to first choose a suitable location. This should have the following criteria:
- Temperature between 10 and 15 ° C
- Light place
- Not too cold ground
During autumn, the bougainvillea, like our native deciduous trees, loses its foliage. But don’t worry: this is by no means a sign of improper care, but a completely natural process. From March you can slowly get the bougainvillea used to an outdoor location again, provided that no more frosts are to be expected.