Any advice for my Bouganvilla?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Kathleen12, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Kathleen12

    Kathleen12 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    Got a question. I have an old Bouganvilla which is being grown in a tree containor. It is about 7 years old and when I first bought it, it bloomed like crazy for its first few years. But for the past 5 years it has not bloomed. I have to bring it inside for the winter months whereupon it naturally looses all its leaves....heck, it practically THROWS them at me! Any way, by the end of the winter season, it puts on all new growth and will not bloom because it's so busy growing new leaves and stems. And I know it will only bloom on old growth.

    When I take it out for the warmer months, I fertilize it with a granule Rose Pride (8-12-4) but still no blooms. What am I doing wrong here?
  2. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    I do know that they need full sunlight in order to bloom. A lot of sun! If they get less than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, they won't bloom. Less than 4 and they lose their leaves. And that needs to be strong, shadow casting sunlight.

    Don't take it outside till the temps are over 50 degrees.

    If lack of sunlight is not the problem try the following.

    In nature, they bloom after the dry season. So try letting it dry out real good between waterings, and this may prompt it to bloom. Let it get almost to the point where it begins to wilt, then water. Do this for a few weeks, then gradually increase back to daily watering. Then once it blooms, water normally, letting it get dry, (but not to the point of wilting) between waterings.

    Then when it has finished blooming, you need to trim it back, to prompt it to bloom again.

    My son is a bougainvillea fanatic. He puts me through this every year with mine, insisting that letting them get wilty for a period will make them beautiful. It seems so wrong, but it always works.

    I got my son a few bonsai trees several years back when he was depressed after a bad breakup. I created a monster. His two trees turned into dozens, (maybe hundreds) of plants! Now he is completely obsessed with his plants and flowers. He has several "boogies" of various colors and they are his favorites. He must be the only hetero male 24-year-old plant and flower lover in town. When we go to buy plants, they look at him like he just beamed down from Mars. I guess they just aren't used to guys so young being interested in such things.

    Good luck!
  3. Kathleen12

    Kathleen12 New Member

    Thank you so much for all that info. It has been up in the 80s here for the past few weeks and am afraid to put it into full sun just yet with all this young tender growth on it. It is in bright shade right now. Should I allow it to toughen up in the direct sun? Do you think there's any hope of it giving me any flowers this year? I live in Mississippi and we have super long, hot summers. Is this fertilizer ratio ok for it?

  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I love bouganvilla so much... here in NE Georgia, I'm a bit too far north to try to baby one thru, I tried. Well, at least it was too much work for me... same for hibiscus and even camellias.

    We are hoping to move to Mexico, I am looking forward to all the tropical flowers/plants!!!!

    all the best,
  5. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Kathleen - If it were me, I would put it in the sun now. I think with the right conditions, it will bloom this summer for sure. The fertilizer question is over my head though. Hopefully someone who knows more about that will come along. I only know about the sun from my own experiences with them, and the watering from my son. I had one in partial sun that never bloomed. It just wasn't getting enough light. Another one in full all day sun, bloomed several times in one summer.

    I use Miracle Grow on all my flowers and have always had good luck with it. But I don't know enough about fertilizer to try anything different. You might try going to Monica33flowers "Garden Com Post" and ask her what she would do. See if she says the same thing about the full sun and watering too.

    I am in SW Missouri, zone 5-6.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/10/2008]
  6. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    our climate isn't conducive to growing bouganvilla - it is so beautiful.

    I have only ever seen it on holiday in Tunisia - (not that far from UK) and wished I could grow it at home.

    I hope you manage to revive it.


  7. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    The ratio seems fine to me. You don't indicate the QUANTITY. THAT could be one of your problems. if you give too much fertilizer or too frequent fertilizer, that could be causing too much growth. Also, you want a slow release fertilizer, especially if the plant is in a pot. Diluted Miracle grow would be fine too, just use at ONE HALF the recommended rate. Make sure your plant was well watered a couple days in advance of the fertilizer so your plant isn't desperate for water when the fertilizer is applied.

    Be careful trying to allow the plant to dry out to the point of wilting if you are applying fertilizer. That combo of fertilizer and no water can cause parts of the plant to die. Just think of yourself after you have eaten salty ham, you are thirsty and want water. Fertilizer on plants is the equivalent; they need water when given fertilizer.

    Sun. I think you are handling the plant acclimating to outdoor conditions correctly. You have to allow the plant to acclimate to outdoor conditions and sunlight. You start it is bright shade and slowly acclimate it to sunlight. it would be the same as you lying in the sun for several hours after being inside the house for the entire winter. That sun is already intense in Mississippi. I live in Central Texas and that sun already very hot.