Raspberry Ice Bougainvillea shedding leaves!

Ash.thescoutAugust 19, 2014

While I was visiting Texas I found a new bougainvillea that I thought would be nice to bring home with me. Home is four hours away in New Mexico. I didn't think the car ride would stress the plant out too much, however now I'm not so sure. Within a week it's started shedding all of its leave and its blooms, and everyday more falls off. The workers at the nursery I got it from repotted it into a sufficient size pot, with a diameter of twelve inches. They watered it and the only instructions I was given was to not water it again until the soil was completely dry. It's not completely dry yet, so I still haven't watered it. The plant is about two feet tall, and it was full of leaves and blooms! I'm worried that if I look at it wrong it'll shake all of what's left of it off and be completely naked!

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First, do not panic. Your plant is perfectly capable of regrowing a new crop of leaves, and reflowering. Your posting gives no information on its current growing situation. I am assuming you have it in full sun, all day. Bougainvilleas are sun and heat lovers big time (and yours has variegated foliage no less!) If the growing conditions are significantly different from its previous location, that could trigger leaf loss independent of the road trip. So, if you give it full sun, day long and refrain from watering (don't feed either), it should recoup. They really are NOT hard plants to maintain, and actually thrive on a certain degree of benign neglect...as long as they get SUN and warmth.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Ok, I did move her into a brighter room. This room gets quite a lot of sunlight and I keep my apartment pretty warm. I read that some people give their bougianvilleas 15-15-15 fertilizer about once a week. To me this seems a little excessive for how little care they need. When it comes time for me to water her again, should I also be concerned with giving her fertilizer?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:44PM
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To me, regular, weekly fertilizing and watering of a bougainvillea that was just transplanted into a larger container sounds excessive. This will encourage foliage, but flowering will be inhibited.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:22AM
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