Bougainvillea planted in NW Georgia

april105(7)March 28, 2008

I went to walmart yesterday and as I walked through the entrance I seen a plant I just had to have "bougainvillea" I read up on plants excesively when I purchase them to make sure they get the most proper care. I came across pictures of the bougainvillea growing up trelis's and walls and such, and thought to myself this would look great climbing my fence, which the bottom portion is trellis so it would climb it well. But anyway, my question is that the pot tag says sun perennial. But I live in Georgia and have been reading that they will die under 30 degree weather. I live in Georgia and bought the plant here so why does it say perennial if our weather is too cold for it to survive our winters? Would it come back in the spring if I planted this plant in NW Georgia? Or would I need to bring it in and replant every year?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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Someplace like Walmart just wants to sell plants and they really don't care and probably don't know what will grow where. I don't think it would survive your winter planted outside but you could always sink the pot and cut it back and lift it to take inside over the winter. I let mine go dormant in an unheated greenhouse over the winter. It's just starting to get foliage and blooms again but I won't take it outside until mid May in my zone (7a).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 12:10PM
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nightrider767(San Antonio)

Nice plant selection but not recomended for ground planting in your area. You bring up some excellent points that really should be addressed as they cause so much confusian.

We all know what perenials are. But for any particular location and a particular plant it will either die in the winter due to the cold, "die back" to the ground and come back in the spring, or simply keep growing and not loose a leaf during the winter.

In Chicago a ground planted Bougainvillea would die in the winter. In San Antonio mine went dormant and is starting to reg-grow now. In Miami a Bougainvillea will be an evergreen.

For the both of us, the best bet is to drag the potted plant into the garage and let it go dormant there for the winter.

I planted mine in the ground because I didn't want to be dragging it in and out of the garage every winter. But in retrospect I regret that, because my plant will probably die the next hard winter and the Bougainvillea are really worth the effort.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

I agree, they can be evergreen, decidious, or annuals, it all depends on where you live. I am in zone 9b/10a in central Cal. I have several Bougainvillea vines in my yard, 7 to be exact. The ones in proteced locations (i.e. growing right up next to the house) are evergreen and even bloom into December. The ones out in the open are decidious. They lose most of their leaves in December and are bare until March, when they get their leaves back. I live in the countryside, so we get colder temperatures than people who live in town. I have seen Bougainvilleas in town blooming in January.

Also, some bougainvillea varieties are more tolerant of cold than others. Of course this won't make a difference if you get refular freezes every winter, but if you live in a borderline zone, some tolerate frosts better than others. The bougainvillea x buttiana don't go completely decidious even if they are out in the open, they tolerate frost a bit more than the other varieties. Usually the fancy-leafed bougainvilleas like "raspberry ice" are less tolerant of cold and frost and can die back with light frost.

In Jan of 2007, we had a freeze with lows in the low 20s that lasted for about a week. The bougainvilleas died back to the ground. They came back, but if we had freezed like that one every year, they would not be long-term plants and would eventually die.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:40PM
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mokikat(z9 FL)

I live in Jacksonville, FL. We get freezes here in the winter. I have one bougainvillea in the ground. I cover
it when we are having cold weather. It may lose some
leaves but so far it has come back in the spring.
I agree with everyone else that you should probably
grow yours in a pot and bring it in during cold weather.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:32PM
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