Bougainvillea Flower is a type of flowering plant that is known for its versatility. It can be a tree, shrub-like vine or vine that bursts with colorful flowers for months if planted at the right climate. It is virtually pest-free and disease resistant, and boasts vitality once it is well looked after.
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Contrary to what most people think, Bougainvillea flowers are tiny and white. What makes the plant colorful is the papery bracts that comes in many colors – all shades of pink and purple, and red, yellow, white, salmon and orange. Its branches are thorny and considered as a climber. A bougainvillea plant requires high fertility soil, at least 5 hours of full sun every day and fair amount of water.
Because it is cold-sensitive, Bougainvillea plant is best planted in summer and generally will bloom in the spring for about a period of four to six weeks. A second bloom may appear in late summer or early fall.
How to make Bougainvillea bloom
One of the most common difficulties encountered by gardeners with this plant is that it stops blooming flowers the moment it is transferred from the pot. Its roots are fragile and easily damaged, and does not knit together to form a root ball. Improper handling of its roots during transplantation to the soil is one of the reasons the plant doesn’t grow well. So be extra careful in removing the plant from the pot and replanting it to the soil. Some gardeners even leave them in the grow pot when planting and just create slits at the sides and bottom to allow for root growth.
Bougainvillea is a tough plant and almost like a weed. Given that case, the way a grower handles the plant plays a vital role in its blooming process. They need to be treated like weeds, neglect them a bit, for them to bloom beautifully into their own potentials.
To make a Bougainvillea plant bloom, there are some things to take note and avoid while taking care of it:
Like cactus, Bougainvillea is a hardy plant. It doesn’t need too much water. Overwatering can cause root rots and discourages flowering. Also make sure that the soil where you plan to put the plant has good drainage and doesn’t hold water for too long. Water the plant every other day. A plant that receives too much water can become comfortable and may not feel the need to flower as part of its reproductive cycle.
Excessive amount of nitrogen tends to produce a Bougainvillea with lots of luscious green growth and no blooms. If you want more flowers, focus on nourishing your plant with phosphate and potassium and adding nitrogen only when the leaves looks less green than it usually is. Fertilize your Bougainvillea during the spring and summer with about a tablespoon once a month.
It is recommended to prune a Bougainvillea only after a bloom because heavy trimming will reduce the amount of blooms it produces. Prune long stems in the early spring to encourage new growth. Remember to cut it back to a length of 20 to 30 inches because Bougainvillea flowers on new growth. Just wear protective gloves to avoid getting punctured or bruised by its thorny branches.
As stated earlier, Bougainvillea loves warm weather. Exposure to low temperature tends to inhibit growth in this plant. If you want your Bougainvillea to continuously bloom through the winter season, plant it in a pot so you could bring it inside your house when the temperature starts to drop.
Bougainvillea is a great climber. You may want to plant it near a wall or fence. Old plants hold their bloom much longer, so maybe time is all you need to enjoy a colorful burst of flowers from your Bougainvillea.