Bougainvillea: complete leaf drop...but still alive

DaveLSUAugust 4, 2011

I have what I believe to be bougainvillea peruviana. I received it as a birthday gift in February, and it has done very well until recently. I live in southern Louisiana. When I received it, it was in full bloom along the entire plant (potted). I use a simple 1:1:1 miracle grow water soluble fertilizer maybe every other month. I wasn't pinching back the tips, so I kept getting blooms at the growing ends of branches. I also let it dry out between waterings, which gave me excellent blooms.

Around the end of June, after being out of town for a couple days during a very hot period (and after a very good bloom), my plant was quite wilted (I have seen it more wilted) and the soil medium was very dry. After I watered, I noticed a little increase in turgidity, but every single leaf and bract died over the next 3-4 days. The bracts seemed to hang on for a little bit longer than the leafs.

i didn't give up faith, and kept watering once a week. I trimmed back all the branches to help relieve some of the stress and to promote growth. About 2-3 weeks ago (after about a month of seeming dormancy), I noticed green growth on a single NEW branch at the bottom of the plant. Today I am noticing green growth progressing along some of the remaining branches.

I have searched the forums and haven't seen anything regarding leaf drop like this during the growing season. Any advice or similar experiences? I guess I can include pictures later there is any need for clarification (i am new to the forum and learning)

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Bougainvillea are heavy feeders and need an acidic soil, so I would feed it using a fertilizer formulated for bougainvilleas and have the soil pH checked.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:31AM
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