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Why is my bougainvillea dying?

Posted by zagyzebra 10 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 13:01

I own a property that suffered a large loss fire a few years ago, and all landscaping station timers and electricity running to them were fried. However, the vines kept flourishing. Now, a little more than 2 years later, they are dying. Does anyone have any idea why they would suddenly be dying?

This home is in a Los Angeles area coastal microclimate. Most of the rest of the landscaping miraculously seems to be surviving, if not overpowering the smaller plants (which are dying because they're getting consumed by the stronger ones).


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

  • Posted by dis_ z9 CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 14:50

Did you get below freezing temps a couple of weeks ago? I know there were freeze warnings all across southern California including at my mom-in-law's who lives near the coast.

Bougainvillea is frost tender and gets heavy damage at very cold temperatures. Some years ago we got snow at my house (I'm close to the mountains) and it killed my bougies.

Large mature plants that are well established can survive and grow back but small ones don't fare so well.

Another possibility is gophers. They killed another of my bougainvillieas.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

To Dis's comments: I had a Bougie planted in the open, but by a huge rock that offered some protection for the roots and base of the plant. The top died-back almost every winter, but resprouted in the Spring. I suggest you give the Bougie time... maybe until June even... to resprout, and then prune-away what has died over winter.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

To Dis's comments: I had a Bougie planted in the open, but by a huge rock that offered some protection for the roots and base of the plant. The top died-back almost every winter, but resprouted in the Spring. I suggest you give the Bougie time... maybe until June even... to resprout, and then prune-away what has died over winter.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

The cold kills them, they could come back, but no guarantees.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

I suspect it is the cold. However, since the boug has been growing prodiguously for the last 15 years, I am a bit stunned by its sudden setback (I hope) due to a cold snap.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

I suspect it is the cold. However, since the boug has been growing prodiguously for the last 15 years, I am a bit stunned by its sudden setback (I hope) due to a cold snap.


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RE: Why is my bougainvillea dying?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 27, 13 at 11:14

If the roots are well-established you can cut it back hard nearly to the ground and it should all grow back afresh.


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