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.

Continued Below

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.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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