Question of the Week Number 2: July 4, 2019
“How can I get my bougainvillea to bloom? It was in flower when I bought it, but nothing since.”
I’m asked this question dozens of times every summer, and I always leave those conversations feeling like I’m letting my readers and listeners down just a little. I guess that’s because I don’t have a lock-tight, definitive answer.
Here are things you can do to foster more blooms…
To promote flowering of bougainvilleas, there are several rules to success.
• Grow it in full sun. They have to have sun to bloom to full potential.
• Plant in well-draining, porous planting soil. They don’t do well in waterlogged soil.
• Growing bougainvilleas in pots is an even better idea. Not only does it make them portable for protection from winter freezes, but it also allows you to keep them root-bound. Restricting their root room keeps the plants from producing new shoots at the expense of flowers.
• In my experience, bougainvilleas tend to flower when they come out of dormant periods. That happens when weather warms up in the spring, but it also happens when temperatures start to cool just a bit in the fall.
• Bougainvilleas also flower best when nights are longer than days. That happens in late winter and it also happens in the fall.