Bougainvillea – love them or loathe them, they are here to stay in Spain.
Flowering time – summer to autumn
Planting time – spring
Height and spread 4-8m (13-26ft)
height and 1-1.5m (3-5ft) spread
Bougainvillea likes bright light with protection in mid-summer.
It is half hardy.
Vibrantly coloured bracts of Bougainvillea brighten gardens and conservatory borders during the summer. These tropical climbers are suitable for large containers placed in the garden during summer, but must be kept frost-free in winter. By following the tips below you will be rewarded with a stunning display:
- Increase water in February-March as the increasing light levels and temperatures stimulate growth.
- Maintain high humidity in bright periods to encourage buds to break.
- Re-pot if necessary in early spring, using loam-based compost and place outdoors in full sun.
- Once plants are growing strongly, around mid-April, water freely and feed weekly with a high nitrogen liquid feed.
- When bracts show colour, change to a high potassium feed and move plants to cooler conditions with good ventilation and protection from direct sun. This encourages the bracts to mature and remain longer on the plant.
- Cooler conditions may cause the leaves to droop for several days, so water less frequently until plant adapts. When bracts have dropped, resume high nitrogen feed to encourage a second flush of bracts.
- Once flowering ends, usually in September, reduce frequency of watering, allowing the plant to become drier between watering and stop feeding.
- From November, water occasionally but thoroughly.
Pruning and Training
Bougainvillea require a trellis or pillar for support and can be trained as a standard and spur-pruned to restrict size. They flower on the current season’s growth so prune in late winter or early spring, just before growth begins.
Early in the season, bend and tie in young strong-growing laterals to check the vigour and stimulate bract formation. After the bracts have fallen cut this long growth back by half to encourage a second flush of bracts in the late summer. Plants should respond to hard pruning, but old plants are better replaced
For help with pruning etc, please contact All Seasons Garden Services on 640 079 161
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