bougainvillea fertilizing and watering

jeff-n-jessaJuly 9, 2006

Hi - I have 4 beautiful bougainvillea in western NY (go figure!?). They're all Monrovia varieties (Barbara Karsten, Oo-la-la, Tahitian Sunset, Camarillo Fiesta). Here is a picture:

Anyway, I currently fertilize them weekly with Peter's Super Blossom Booster (10-50-10). Does anyone have any thoughts about whether this is the best combination? Also, how dry do you let your bougainvillea get before watering? Finally, if anyone else has any pictures of these varieties I'd love to see them!


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holy MOLY! You are fertilizer happy! :o) You DO realize that phosphorus does not wash out of the soil like nitrogen does. I wouldn't fertilize for blooming more than once a month.
If you are afraid of overwatering, make sure it has drainage. It isn't a cactus, but it likes to dry out some before watering... root rot would be a danger.
Good luck and happy growing!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 10:21AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

They don't like a lot of fertilizer and they don't like a lot of water. I keep mine on a hot sunny deck and rarely water except for the rain it gets anyway. Keep REALLY dry indoors in the winter.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 10:20AM
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Yes I'd agree with the above, these are not tender plants and often flower as well or better, grown hard.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 7:02AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)


had a large one torn down by Wilma last year along with the shadehouse so decided to get rid of it because of the thorns. Have been spraying once a week or more with roundup
and it's still sprouting !!lol
That's one tough plant !!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Hello from St. John,
Your getting good advice I fertilize lightly once a year and only water during a real drought.My bougs flower constantly and only turn green when they get too much rain. I know it hurts to prune but your plant looks leggy.I have learned that bougs can be pruned to whatever style you want the shape to be. I have many I keep about 6' x 6' in the garden and the same variety in a deck pots about 2' x 2'. They will actually bloom as bonsai. If you take it inside in the winter and keep it in a sunny window you will have it for next summer.The cuttings easily start in sand or perlite or soil.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 2:09PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

FYI, it is 'Barbara Karst' not Karsten.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:33PM
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I had bougainvillea plant that I moved around my front yard a couple of time by transplanting. I finally took it and planted it at the base of a non flowering tree that stood about 25 feet tall. As the bougainvillea grew I got up on a ladder and trained it to grow up the tree. After about a year it really filled out and grew out between the tree limbs. It gave plenty of flowers using the tree as a support. I often had people ask "what kind of tree is that?" I let nature take its course, I never watered or fertilized it. It seem to bloom almost all the time.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Do you think that a bougie could be planted next to an oak tree to let it climb? What about light? If under a tree is there enough light for it to bloom? My oak is about 25', but you know how wide they get.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:36AM
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I have one at the base of a Deciduous Oak, partial shade, it grows but never blooms. A former house had 3 planted against the North Wall - they grew like gangbusters but never bloomed. SO I'd not plant one in shade unless you like the foliage ;)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:37PM
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