Question About Bougainvillea

Filed Under: Vine Plants, Watering · Keywords: Sun, Fall, Watering, About, Soil · 753 Views
I just recently purchase a bougainvillea and the lady said I could leave it in its original container...it receives full sun. I checked on it yesterday and it's shriveled and all the leaves are dried and falling off. I've been watering it about two days a week...the soil was extremely dry and hard. What do y'all recommend for watering? I watered it until the soil was moist again but it looks so bad still :( any help or comments? Thanks!!!


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Answer #2 · Arianne Robichaux's Answer · Awesome thanks...the lady told me to put Osmocote in it and I'm 100% positive that's what caused the soil to dry out and all the blooms and leaves fell off. My husband kept thoroughly rinsing it then pouring out the excess wayer...its looking way better now. Also the lady I bought it from said it will be okay in that pot for 5 years?! But I will transplant it into a bigger pot...any soil suggestions? Also should I transplant now since it's finally starting to grow back (i.e. leaves)?)


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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
Arianne-The plant will most likely be fine in this pot for now as long as the soil is kept moist but not too wet or dry. I would transplant it in a larger pot when dormant in the fall or early spring. Being in a smaller pot will require more careful watering this summer. You could transplant it now as long as you take care not to damage roots and or let the root ball dry out during transplanting. Bougainvillea are extremely hardy and transplant with very few problems. The osmocote should be fine. I don't believe this has caused any problems. One full cap would be plenty in a pot that size. I use osmocote in all my potted plants and trees. It will not burn the plant as it is a slow release fertilizer and will keep the plant fertilized for several months. You mentioned your husband has poured out any excess water in the pot. Does this pot have drainage holes in the bottom? Drainage holes are important as this plant requires a well draining soil. Too wet a soil in the bottom of the pot will rot roots and cause a slow death of the plant. If the pot is sitting where you don't water draining out the bottom you can use a dish under the pot to catch the excess water. Just remember to pour the water out after the pot has drained. This will keep the bottom of the plant from sitting in too much water keeping the soil in the bottom of the pot saturated. When planting in pots I use a quality potting soil such as E.B. Stones potting soil. There are many good quality potting soils which in my opinion will only be found at your quality nursery and not at the box stores. I normally mix in a couple of handfulls of vocanic pumice to help with drainage. I also add a 1 to 2 inch layer of small bark chips on top of the soil which helps keep the soil moist and from drying out quickly. Let me know how you make out.

3 years ago ·
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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Arianne-From the pictures I see in your profile it does look as though the plant had dried out. You can keep this plant in this container for a few months but I would definitely transplant it into a larger container. The bougainvellea grows fast and will fill this smaller container quickly with roots becoming root bound. The fact that this container does not have a large amount of soil and the container being a darker color will cause the soil to dry out quickly in the direct sunlight. Once the potting soil dries out it will not easily absorb water causing the water to run out between the soil and the pot and not moistening the entire root ball. Using a wetting agent or slowly watering the pot with a slow drip until the all the soil in the pot is again wet would be best. Also, make sure this pot has drainage holes in the bottom. Although this plant will need to be kept moist in the warmer months it needs to have a well draining soil. Too wet a soil can also cause leaves to yellow then brown and drop. The flowering I see would indicate the plant is still alive. All you can do for now is keep the soil moist, not too wet or dry. It should sprout new leaves in a couple of weeks. You can scratch a small spot of bark off any stems with you fingernail or a knife that you think may be dead. If the tissue under the bark is still green the stem is alive. If the tissue is brown the stem is dead and should be cut off. Let me know how you make out.

Please ask any other questions you may have.

John)



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