Bouganvillea help !!

tominbrooklynJanuary 10, 2006

Hello to all. I have a small bouganvillea that I repotted into a small 2 gallon pot. It came back from nearly defoliated as I recieved it in the mail. I try to keep it in full sun as much as I can and water it when the topsoil looks pretty dry. The plany gets droopy leaved, then one day looks good, the next day the leaves droop again???

Is this normal, what might I be doing wrong, and how whould I care for bouganvilea?

Thanks for any comments.


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Tom, I would only water deeply when you can stick your finger down at least 4 or 5 inches and feel bone dry soil. Maybe place it on a dish with stones / water & mist it a couple of times a day to increase the humidity.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 10:10AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

wanna run is correct about the watering. Only water when it is dry. Don't keep a saucer under with water collected in it and make sure it is planted in well draining soil (I usually pot mine up in cactus soil mixed with extra perlite or sand. They actually will thrive in poor soil. Bougainvillea like 2 main things: heat and sun. If you can, get it a grow light. If it is placed by a cold window it may not like it due to temperature. A grow light can be placed in a warmer part of the house but away from direct heat vent. Don't worry about fertilizer for now either. When there is no longer a danger of frost you can set it outside after acclimizing it to sun and then you can give it a bit of fertilizer.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 10:59AM
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Right, sultry, I should have made that clearer. The dish with the stones /water is to elevate the pot above the water...just to add humidity to the area, not to leave the pot sitting in the water.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 2:24PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

lol, wanna run,
sorry I was referring to tom (in case he had a saucer under it lol) not about the humidity idea thing you mentioned=)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 4:39PM
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No, I know sultry. :) When I re-read it I thought it wasn't clear because alot of people water their plants from the bottom & that's not at all what we were suggesting. :) Rather to keep it dry, then water thoroughyl. Normally I don't think too much about humidity (except to complain how much there is!) but I thought maybe since his baby was having a hard time adjusting maybe a little extra TLC would help.

I'm not going to mention how I bought a bougy at Lowe's for a dollar on clearance, put it in my trunk and forgot about it. For maybe 2 weeks in 85 degree weather. It looked a little upset initially but now it's out on the patio blooming like crazy (obviously forgave me) :) PS don't try this at home :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 7:07PM
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I just bought a bouganvillea, and it's the first one I 've had. I need to repot it now. do the roots grow deep or do they spread out more. I am trying to decide which pot to put it in.

Thanks Brenda

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 11:01AM
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Tom - I experienced the same problem you had at the start.

This is what I learnt:

Mistake 1:

You said that u have a small bouganvillea that u repotted into a small pot in full sun.


Obviously, the root system of this small bougainvillea hasn't been developed properly. As a result, you need to nurture it like a baby by moving it to a shady area for a couple of weeks and water it early in the morning. Then gradually move it to a sunny position - but if your leaves droop - move back to a shadier area.

Secondly, black pots absorb heat quickly in a small pot. Avoid black pots if possible and ensure that the roots are fully covered not exposed.

Leaves droop because they are stressed - and because it's still young - you need to water it regularly and avoid hot afternoon sun.

If you follow this instruction - you will notice that the leaves will bounce back up in the morning.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:41PM
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I live in Florida and we had a very bad winter this past year. I cut my bougainvillea back to about two feet. It was about ten feet tall growing on an arbor. If I hadn't cut it back would it have sprouted leaves on what I thought was dead branches?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 1:26PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

If you cut a branch look at the center of the cutting if green or if the branch is pliable then it may still be good. If it is solid brown and very brittle then it was prob dead anyways. Yours should grow new branches and perhaps even be thicker than before, eventually. I have a lot of mine in pots and they really suffered this past winter..even with protection. I actually lost one which is a first for me with bougainvillea.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 8:48AM
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What kind of fertilizer do you need for bouganvilleas--acid or regular?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 1:07PM
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