PlanesandPalmsGuy(z7 S IL)May 31, 2005

Has anyone tried growing Bougainvillea? I realize it prefers weather that is congruent with weather in the desert southwest, but dow does it fair in the east (a la Florida) and zone 8b or above locations?

Thanks, Zach

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virgilevetts(Auckland, NZ)

Should be fine there. It grows like weed in Z 10, NZ. Our local climate [Z10] is very humid, Actually my plant is growing in the very wet catchment area around my stormwater drain. Infact my one grows almost too fast. They are very pretty plants, but the thorny clippings are a huge nuisance to dispose of. Dont do as the previous owner of my house did and put all the prunnings in the compost. They NEVER rot and seem to get sharper with age.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 8:45PM
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sinner_gurl(LA z9& HUMID!)

Lots of people in FL and HI grow bougainvillea. It does well there even with all the rain. I think the number one thing it loves is heat. I usually try to keep mine on the 'dry' side because it seems to flower much better that way. Although I now live in LA (grew up in Phx,AZ though) I keep mine in pots near a brick wall and on concrete. They really heat up that way and bloom like crazy. You could also use pavers (like the lg. square stepping stone type you can buy at home depot for a dollar) Place your pots on these. The stone absorbs heat during the day and releases it slowly at night fooling the plant into thinking the night temps are warmer. I also use this method of bottom heat for warming or rooting other tropicals.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 11:07AM
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Kameha(z9b/10a Heat:10)

Yeah it grows wonderfully here in Florida. It blooms best during the winter and spring dry months and grows more during the rainy season in summer and fall. It grows really good from Orlando south. It doesn't prefer the southwest's climate any more than it prefers our climate. I think it just likes warm climates with monsoonal rainfall patterns.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 4:12PM
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Kameha(z9b/10a Heat:10)

Oh forgot to add, the bougainvillea is marginal in zone 9a (and more of a perennial). It cannot grow in the ground from zone 8b north.

It actually prefers to be pot-bound and blooms better that way. I bet you could grow it as a houseplant in Illinois and set its pot oudoors in summer and it would thrive. Remember to fertilize and water it sparingly in winter in order for it to bloom better.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 4:16PM
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PlanesandPalmsGuy(z7 S IL)

Thanks for all of the feedback everyone!...I may consider growing bougainvillea in a pot!

Thanks again, Zach

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 10:53AM
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Pleasant, a boug will do great in a pot..I had 3, including a variegated, Raspberry ice for yrs..the variegated was deciduous..Got 2 at HD. Just add sand to the mix when you repot for good drainage, and summer outdoors..Toni

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 8:04PM
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Ripsin(z10 SoFL)

Definately, here in SoFL it does grow like a weed. We moved into a home which had a few random areas growing on the ground (not good for dogs chasing lizards I might add), anyways, I stuck a shepards hook (the iron pole used to hang pots in the open) on each side of a walkway and trained it to grow up and over each of them. I now walk under it and use a 9ft ladder to trim the top. It blooms almost year round and I try to keep it dry for more blooms. Each year I have a returning bird which nests in the top, pretty cool, amidst all the thorns ;)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 12:00AM
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Clod(8b SC)

I grow one here in zone 8 in a hanging basket. Bring it in or out during the Winters, according to the temperature. Seems to do ok. Just today I noticed the new red leaves/flowers were looking a little ragged. As I was looking at it, a fat young cardinal flew onto it and started eating the new red flowers. Chomping them down like they were his personal salad bar. I scared him away, but I imagine my boug's new blooms will be a little sparse this year. Tony

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 5:36PM
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Kameha(z9b/10a Heat:10)

Clod that's very interesting, I didn't even know any of those birds ate flowers!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:05PM
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When planting bougainvillea along a wall, how far apart would you plant (5 gallon container) them?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:05PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Zach, I've had one in a pot for nearly a year now. I think it's Raspberry Ice. I really like the variegated leaves for interest when it's not in bloom. Mine kept most of its leaves indoors over the winter (kept in a fairly warm and bright family room with minimal watering). I have heard that sometimes they defoliate under various conditions but regrow new leaves later on.

I find it's the perfect pot plant for my hot and sunny deck. It's the only plant I don't have to water every day during the summer!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:55PM
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Thought you might like to see a pic of a bougie hedge in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This was taken December of '05, and while everything was starting to really die back here in Texas, the flora was in glorious bloom down in the Baja! The photos we took didn't even begin to do the bougies justice.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:15PM
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icaru(10b Turkey)

Our garden has many colors of bougainvillea ... deep pink, scarlet, gold, orange & purple. Pink & gold in fotos on link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red & gold climbing bougainvillea

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 6:13AM
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I have one in a pot. Its called Tom Thumb and its a dwarfish, bushy variety. I got it last year from Logees Greenhouse. It hasn't bloomed yet. Well, there were some bracts on the plant when I got it. Rose-colored. Last year I actually put it in the ground in early summer and dug it up and potted it up in the fall. I really think having it in the ground helped the plant grow tremendously. I've heard that you aren't supposed to disturb the root system, because the roots are very brittle, but mine bounced back just fine, I just made sure it had plenty of water during the transition period. I kept it by a sunny window in my sun room.
This year I just kept it in the pot and plunged the pot into the ground, and its doing great, although it hasn't bloomed yet. I did notice that the pot seemed to dry out a lot and the plant would wilt, so I gathered that this particular plant isn't that fond of dry conditions.
I've seen plenty of bougainvillea all over, from L.A. to Miami, to all over the Hawaiian islands, wet or dry sides. It seems to be a very adaptable plant.
I live in Chicago, by the way.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 1:46AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

icaru, your garden and villa are gorgeous!!!!

It is true that Bougainvillea resent root disturbance. Unlike other plants you should not rough up the rootball when planting or repotting.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:13PM
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