Bougainvillea Repotting / Planting question

kes_cor(Z5 Chicago, IL)March 15, 2007

I purchased my Bougainvillea two years ago, a purple flowered from Monrovia. As I've read they like to be pot bound, I never replanted it. Over the winter I store it in my semi heated laundry room (~ 50 and mostly dark). The plant completely goes dormant over winter. This is the plants third season and it only seems to bloom in winter, although I bought it in full bloom in June.

I just took it out from the laundry room and it is sprouting like crazy. I can see the flowers forming already.

I need to replant it as it doesn't stand straight upright. Also, how long can it stay in the growers pot?

Should I wait until the flowering is finished and then replant and back into the same pot?

Also, would you recommend fertilizing it or wait or always fertilize in low doses?

Thanks

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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Hi kes,
If your bouggie hasn't been repotted in 2 years and has grown alot you should probably repot up at least one pot size. Try not to disturb the roots when you do so. Make sure the plant is well watered, then if the plant does not slide out of the pot easily, you can just take a razor knife and slice down 2-3 sides of the pot and then remove the plant.
For potting soil you need good drainage and a pot with lots of holes in the bottom. Terra cotta seems ideal but the fine roots on the bougainvillea will adhere themselves to terra cotta and then break next time you have to repot. So plastic is probably a better choice.
I use 2 parts potting soil to 1 part sharp sand (not play sand get the larger particle sand at home depot or somewhere by the concrete mix) to 1 part perlite.
I have a royal purple that I'm training into a espaliered like form. I put in 2 bamboo poles (one on ea. side) in the new pot , when I repotted it and tie the bouggie up with velcro ties as it grows to get the shape I want. Cut out the pieces you dont want.
You can wait about 3 wks or so after repotting to fertilize. you can give it some superthrive or vit. B when you water it after repotting.
Some of the potting soils have slow release fertilizer in them anyways. I give mine bloom booster or tropical hibiscus food, and sometimes epsom salts with a little fish fertilizer in low doses throughout spring and fall. People have different ways of fertilizing them though.
Mine usually stay in bloom from spring to late fall off and on so they must like it. I have about 8 different ones.
~SJN

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 12:38PM
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stressbaby(z6 MO)

I have heard this "don't disturb the roots" thing with regard to Bougs. Because I'm from the Show-Me state, I decided to test this idea on my only Boug, a gigantic root-bound thing in a 24" clay pot. I pulled the plant last fall, took a knife and shaved 3-4" off of all sides and the bottom of the rootball. Then I sprayed the rootball with a hose to loosen up the remaining roots. Then I repotted in a pot 2-4 inches smaller than the original. The plant never missed a beat and is covered in pink blooms and new growth at this time. I could not have abused this plants rootball any more than I did at the time of this repottiing. Pics available by request (because I didn't think anyone would believe me).

SB

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:47PM
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