Tamara447w(PA)June 27, 2004


I just bought a bougainvilla plant, & it was flowering beautifully. However, it has since dropped its' flowers & shows no sign of re-blooming. I've checked it for insects & there seems to be no sign. It get plenty of light, & I am a container gardener. How do I get it to re-bloom? Any help will be HUGELY appreciated, as this is my first bougainvilla. Thank you.


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Tamara, others will know more than me. But we haven't been getting our usual hot summer in Dallas, and I asked a nursery person why my Bougies aren't blooming. They had a few in bloom. She was candid, and said they were from a greenhouse. The reason why they aren't blooming is a lack of heat and sun! Our days have barely been hitting 90, lots of rain, not much sun. The mildest summer I've EVER seen in DFW. (I'm a native, and 42.)

I also read an artcle written in Texas Gardener about bougies, and the auther had hers setting on a concrete driveway, temps in the mid-90s, high humidity in Houston, only watering at most every other day, and they LOVED it! They like to wilt a little between waterings, according to the author.

So, I'd guess too much water and a lack of heat?

Also, she trimmed hers hard at the first of the season, seems they like to bloom on new wood.

Anyway, hope you find a mix of conditions that work!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 2:34PM
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Hi, Randy
Thanks for the help. Like you, our summer has been extremely mild & full of rain. I container garden, so I've been watering every day there's been no rain. I think I'll let them dry out a little & see what happens. Thank you SO much for taking the time to help out! I hope yours do better as well!
Thanks again,
PS: If you get time, let me know how yours are doing!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 8:10PM
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Did you just plant it or did you leave it in the container you bought it in?

If you re-potted it then they kind of sulk for a few weeks before they start growing. They also have very tender roots.

Mine was weepy for about 2 weeks and is growing like crazy now.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 11:27PM
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From my experience, it is quite common for the flowers to fall off when there is a change of condition (e.g. amount of sunlight the plant gets, transplating to ground). And I live in tropical Singapore where the climate is the same throughout the year. Make sure it gets at leat 4-5 hours of direct sun, don't over water, prune it during the wetter cooler seasons when the leaves are growing. And they will generally bloom without much care needed. A tiny bit of fertilizer also help. I have a dozen 1-foot pots of bougans of varying colors, pink, purple, white, yellow and all of them bloom well. Just make sure they have enough direct sun.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 2:04AM
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The secret to blooming bougainvillas is to let them dry out. And, I mean to the point of wilting and leaves turning a grayish green. Water them with plain water to wet the roots so the fertilizer won't burn them. Then sock 10-30-10 (or anything with a high middle number) at the rate of 1 TBS to 1 gal water. If you are sheepish, then just use 1 tsp to 1 gal water. Let them dry out and fertilize like this several times and (if you can keep the rain from drowing them) they will bloom. I have heard that in Australia they have a bougainvilla festival and they literally take the plants out of the pots, lay them on the ground and let them dry out.I grew bougainvillas commercially for nurseries at one time and this is what worked for me.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2004 at 3:54PM
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Robin_1953(z3 Canada)

When I changed the conditions of my bougainvilla it dropped its bracts and leaves. I just kept it warm and dry, in a sunny place during the winter, and it is now huge and blooming profusely. I also pruned it back after it had dropped its leaves, and even though it is in a sunroom, it is just lovely. I fertilized it in the spring. As you can see by my zone, tropicals can be tricky, unless one has a great sunroom and solarium. Rather spoiled, am I!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 4:14PM
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Thanks again to Alabama Jan & Robin!! I think I've figured out that I have been watering them way too much. I thought that since they were tropicals, they might like that. However, keeping them dry right now is almost impossible! It's raining so hard here right now, I'm getting ready to build an ark! And, they say it will be like this through the week. I think I'll put them under some shelter to let them dry out. And, once again, thanks to all of you who took time out of your busy life to help me. I really, really appreciated it!!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2004 at 3:41PM
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From what I've read bougainvillea blooms better in dry, arid type of climates. I know here in my area bougs bloom the best during the winter and spring months (our driest time of the year). Right now my bougs have some blooms but not nearly as many as during the winter months.

Below is one of my bougs I have in the front yard (photo taken this past March). Right now (July 21st) it only has a fraction of flowers on it as in the photo.

Further, I have a larger boug in my back yard and it has no flowers on it right now but was loaded this past winter and spring.


Here is a link that might be useful: One of my bougainvilleas

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 10:16PM
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CissyCat(z9 AZ)

Dry, dry, dry! Bougies like it very dry! I live in the desert and have several, the largest one being more than 20' around, and I do nothing for them. I never water or fertilize, or trim, I just plain neglect them! I've had people come by and take pictures of the huge one in front of my house when it's in full bloom just due to the size and the bloom coverage it has, they always ask how I get it that way. It's quite stunning to see, and gets nothing but what Mother Nature provides. (which isn't much here in the desert!) My best advice is just to make sure it gets as much sun and heat as possible, if it's in the ground don't water it, if it's potted, wait until it's very dry and then just give it minimal water.

Trudi :0)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 8:42AM
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Hi, I am trying to find out what may be eating the leaves on our Bougainvilla. We also have leaves that curl. We can't find any insects, although we look at different times of day and evening. It is very frustrating, we haven't been able to find any information on Bougie pests, etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2005 at 9:21AM
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everytime I think I've killed it, I prune it severely and it always blooms back to full force!!
I think the first replier had it right taht it likes new wood to bloom

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 9:25PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Also, use minimal fertilizer. ( I would only use it once a year. Too much makes them put out lots of green leaves, but no flowers.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 7:00AM
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Thanks ALL for revealing the 'B.secrets'. Maybe my potted
Bougainvillas will bloom this summer. I winter them in
my small GH (where they do bloom). In summer I take them
outside (when blooming is more desirable for me) but they
usually perform miserably.
George (NJ).

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 4:33AM
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sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

Trudi is right. I used to live in Phx,AZ and there they even planted bougainvillea in the dividers on the highways/ freeway! I know that it was burning hot near all that asphalt and concrete (with the summer temps 115-120) We never watered, trimmed or fertilized our bouggies and they bloomed like mad. When I moved to Louisiana I put some in pots kept them on concrete by a brick wall and move them when it rains alot. Otherwise I ignore them and they bloom great.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 11:31AM
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maleko(USDA 9)

I lived on the windward side of Oahu in Hawaii, which is very wet and humid, but bougies bloom nonstop there. (I never saw a vine when I lived in Hawaii, they all were all bush types) Here I Sacramento CA where I live now my bougie is blooming great guns right now. It starts every March and blooms through May and then stops and never blooms again durring the summer.So there may be different blooming times for different varieties.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 2:30PM
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Is anyone still reading this or posting. I

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 6:02AM
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cagoldbear(9a - Houston)

I know that they like to be confined and fairly dry - plant them near a foundation or keep them in a pot. They need lots of sun and infrequent water. They can "bloom" all year, but it typically runs in 6 week cycles. bloom, grow, bloom, grow. They're also lateral bloomers, so you have to train the flying-out branches into the form you may want.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 1:18PM
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