Bougainvillea: Home Care, Replanting And Propagation

Flowers from the subtropics and tropics, such as orchids, fuchsias and jasmine, have been in many homes for a long time. Bougainvillea was only recently introduced to flowering. In Brazil, where it is from, and other countries with similar subtropical climates, it blooms all year round. The tops of its stems are decorated all the time with dense, showy bracts of rich color. In addition this plant is undemanding, it grows on roadsides, among stones, braids many-meter-high rocks and also climbs the walls of multi-storey buildings.

Only a few species and hybrid cultivars are successfully cultivated indoors.

Housing bougainvillea at home

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

Bougainvillea is native to Brazil. There, its growth and flowering does not stop for a single day because it has no dormancy period. Such a heat-loving plant can withstand a decrease in air temperature to 5 degrees, but if it is colder, it can die. In some subtropical regions of the Caucasus, the culture is grown in open soil year-round.

But if there is a threat of a decrease in air temperature to critical values, then it is necessary to cover it, so that it is not affected by the cold.

In the middle latitudes of Russia such a plant is cultivated exclusively in an enclosed soil. Greenhouses, greenhouses and residential buildings are ideal for its cultivation. The main thing to remember is that bougainvillea needs plenty of bright light and space. When growing in room conditions, as a rule, the culture did not have enough light or space, and it began to adapt to the new growth conditions.

As a result, its flowering became not year-round, and it also had a clearly defined dormancy period. If properly cared for and provided with growth conditions very close to nature, it can bloom several times during the year. A south-facing window sill is ideal, at the very least it can be placed on a west-facing window. Remember that during the day the flower should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 5 hours. By the way, the scorching rays of the midday sun are not afraid of it.

Only if he will have enough light, his growth and development will be within the norm, and during the flowering period his perianths will have a bright color. If the amount of light is too low, the stems will become elongated, the leaves will fade and the bougainvillea will not bloom.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

The room where the flower is should be ventilated systematically, but be sure to protect the bush from drafts. Do not allow air currents to hit it. In summer, when it is warm outside, if possible it can be moved to fresh air (on the veranda, in the garden or on an open balcony).

In this case choose a place which is well protected from precipitation and wind gusts. In winter you can put the plant on a closed loggia, which must be insulated and well lit. Keep in mind that the loggia should not be colder than 10 degrees.

The culture reacts negatively to frequent relocations from one place to another, especially during flowering. This can severely damage the plant, even more so if the growing conditions have drastically changed for the worse since it was moved.

Both flowers and leaves can fall off because of this. The shrub should then be returned to its usual environment, with a suitable temperature and light, and new leaves will start to grow after a short time. During the spring and summer, during the intensive growth period, the room temperature should be between 22 and 25 degrees. During the dormant winter period, it is recommended that the bush be moved to a cooler place (12 to 16 degrees). Cool wintering will allow the plant to lay a large number of flower buds, and with the onset of the spring months the bush will certainly delight you with lush blooms.

If the bougainvillea is in heat in winter, it should definitely provide additional light, and the required duration of the daylight hours is about 12 hours. To do this, install a daylight lamp or phytolamp near the plant. In this case the bush will not begin to dormant period, and a small number of flowers will blossom on it. However, the bush will bloom very little if it is warm in winter and in summer.

Air Humidity

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

The crop needs high air humidity.

That is why it should be moistened regularly and frequently with a sprayer. During flowering, only the air around the bush should be moistened with a sprayer, because it is extremely undesirable to get water droplets on the surface of the bracts. When the plant is not blooming, it is better to moisten its foliage from both sides and this will only benefit it.

There are other ways to increase humidity. For example, you can put an open vessel filled with water near the flower or you can put moist pebbles in a tray and place the pot on it.

If possible, get an electric humidifier and use it. Moisten the foliage as well as water the shrub only with soft water, which should be well drained, filtered or boiled.


Water the plant abundantly during the intensive growth that occurs in the spring and summer. The soil should be slightly moist (not damp) at all times. Water as soon as the top layer of substrate is half dry.

On average, watering is carried out 1-2 times every 7 days. Pour water into the pot until it begins to flow from the holes at the bottom. However, remember that although the flower likes moisture, but in natural conditions it prefers to grow on stony soil, so do not allow stagnant liquid in the substrate. In this regard, the water that has dripped into the tray after watering should always be poured out.

With the onset of autumn, watering is gradually reduced so that the bush can prepare for the upcoming dormancy period.

Between November and February it should be watered very sparingly and infrequently. However, make sure that the clod in the pot does not dry out completely. On average at this time, watering once every 15-20 days. The warmer it is in the room, the more often it is watered. If the bush is stripped of its leaves during the winter, watering is stopped until the end of the dormancy period.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

With proper and timely fertilization, bougainvillea will grow and bloom splendidly. Systematic fertilization with liquid fertilizer is done from early spring to the second half of fall. Fertilizers for flowering plants with a high potassium, phosphorous and iron content are suitable for this, they will form a lot of buds on the bush and the flowering will be lush. Do not overfeed the plant with nitrogen as this has a very negative effect on flowering.


Fruitful and light soil that lets water and air through.

A universal soil mixture for flowering house plants with a pH between 5.5 and 6.0 can be used. If you wish, the soil mixture can be made by yourself. To do this you will need to combine coarse river sand, sod and leaf soil and humus (1:2:2:1).

To make the soil mixture loose enough, it is recommended to pour a small amount of chalk, vermiculite, wood ash, and still for the prevention of fungal diseases you need to add pieces of charcoal in it. Each of the components should be disinfected to remove the viruses, parasites and infections present in them. You can do this by either pouring freshly boiling water over them or by steaming them. After disinfecting, let the substrate dry out.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

A suitable pot for planting should only be 20mm larger than the previous pot or a couple of centimeters larger than the bush root system taken in with the root ball.

If the container is too spacious, the bougainvillea will grow intensely greenery and root system, which is extremely detrimental to flowering. In addition, the thin roots are not able to master the entire volume of the soil mixture in a short time, and this means that it will stagnate liquid, which will lead to souring of the substrate. The container should be high but not too wide.

Before planting, make a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot 30 to 40 mm thick, using coarse pebbles, expanded clay or Styrofoam.

Potting Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

The resting period ends in early spring and the bush begins to grow strongly.

At this time, you can observe the beginning of intensive growth of leaves, shoots and roots. It is in early spring that transplanting of the flower is recommended.

Young specimens grow very fast. If grown in a greenhouse, the bush can increase in height by 300 centimeters in 12 months. Remember that the larger the container, the longer the stems and branches will be.

If the bush is grown in a cramped space, it will not grow as tall, but it will flower very lushly. As long as the plant is young, it should be transplanted regularly once a year, this will restore the nutrient content of the soil. Mature plants can be replanted much less frequently - usually every 3 or 4 years - because they don't tolerate it very well. Often the transplanted shrub becomes very ill the first time, it does not flower and its leaves fall off. It is therefore recommended to transplant it into a larger container, taking care not to traumatise the root system.

After transplanting, check the root neck, it should not be buried. The free space in the container is filled with fresh soil mixture, and it is not necessary to compact it, but make sure that there are no voids. Transplanted bush is watered and removed for a few days in a shady place, this will allow the root system to quickly take root and settle in the new soil mixture. The flower is then transferred to its old location.

The stems on which the flowers are located weigh a lot in an adult shrub, so they need support.

A support of wire or bamboo should be installed. As long as the plant is young, a wire staple will suffice. Bend it in half, fold it at the required angle and stick it at the base of the shrub into the substrate.

Bougainvillea transplanting, bougainvillea pruning. How you can shape a bougainvillea


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

It is because of its spectacular and long-lasting flowering that bougainvillea is so loved by florists.

Flower buds are laid in winter during the dormant period. In May flowering starts in May and the plant looks more like a big colourful bouquet with open inflorescences and showy bracts because of which you can not even see the leaves. The plant can bloom for 6 to 7 months (May to November) if it is well looked after. The bracts vary in shape and color from one variety to another. They can be painted pink, purple, white, purple or mauve.

Varieties with several rows of terry inflorescences are of special decorative value. The small cream-colored flowers don't last long; they fade quite quickly after opening and fly off. But bracts stay on the branches for a long time, sometimes up to half a year or even longer. To achieve the highest decorative effect, two bushes of different varieties, one with purple and one with white bracts, can be put in the same container. As the bougainvilleas grow, their trunks are intertwined with each other.

When the bushes bloom, the house is decorated with a lush purple and white bouquet.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

A major procedure when cultivating bougainvillea in room conditions, its pruning is considered. Not only can it be used to shape the bush properly, but it can also stimulate flowering. Several pruning operations are carried out during one year.

In spring the injured, weakened and withered branches are removed from the bush.

During the summer, the inflorescences that have lost their attractive appearance are cut off. In the autumn months, when the flowering ends, it is also necessary to carry out pruning. After the bracts begin to fade, shorten the young shoots by 1/3 of their length, with 6 to 8 buds remaining on each of them. Those young shoots which do not grow properly or are superfluous should be cut out to the trunk. Old branches, which are more than 3 years old, should not be touched, because this will have no tangible effect, but the bush will be severely injured.

In the same autumn before the dormancy period begins, a formative pruning is also carried out. If desired, the plant can be given the appearance of a multi-stemmed bush, and it is also possible not to cut its shoots, which are similar to vines, with time on the support they are given an unusual shape (for example, a ring or heart). Also quite effective compositions are those where the branches are wrapped around shaped frameworks, decorative lattices or trellises. Remember to leave enough current season buds on the stems during pruning because dormant buds on old stems wake up very rarely, and so no young shoots may appear on the bush at all.

Trimming the bougainvillea triggers flowering


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

Bougainvillea can be formed as bonsai - a tree with several branches and one trunk.

In order to do this, you must leave 2-3 branches on the bush and remove all the others. This kind of look should be maintained for a very long time until the tree does not become more woody. After that, you need to prune all the central branches on a stump. Then it is necessary to wait for the young shoots to grow on the bush. All this time it is necessary to control their growth: long shoots need pruning and plucking, unnecessary remove, and those that are directed in the wrong direction, with the help of a wire corrected.

After the branches have hardened, the stanchions should be removed. Shortly before the beginning of the dormancy period bonsai shaping is suspended, in this case the bush will have time to let out young shoots and on them will happen the laying of flower buds. And when spring arrives the bonsai will be decorated with dense and showy inflorescences.

It happens that mini-trees have bare branches from below, which extremely negatively affects its appearance. To correct this, you can graft cuttings onto these branches.

Start by picking out the young green shoots and cut them off, then strip them of their leaves, but do this carefully so as not to traumatize the buds. Choose a spot on the branch where the grafting will take place. At this point, make a hole with a drill, and choose a drill bit of the right size. Then the cuttings are inserted into it. The cuttings will take root fairly quickly, and the tree will look neater.

Remember that the cuttings should be inserted into the hole so as not to traumatize the buds, especially the one that is very close to the trunk. After grafting, provide bougainvillea with good care. You should water it in time, not move it, and not turn it, as there is a big chance that you accidentally damage the grafted branches.

Grafting another variety

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

In order to create a variety of flowers, you can graft a different variety of bougainvillea onto the stems. For example, a plant with red bracts can be grafted from a shrub with white bracts.

Step-by-step instructions for grafting:

  1. Take a sterilized very sharp instrument and make a not very deep side cut in the scion.
  2. With this same instrument cut scion from another shrub.
  3. Sharpen the tip of scion and place it in the side cut in the scion.
  4. For fixing the grafting point a grafting band and medical glue are used. It will not be possible to remove the band-aid until several months later.

Bougainvillea. Cultivation and care.

Bougainvillea multiplication

Bougainvillea, cultivated under room conditions, is propagated in three ways. They will be explained in more detail below.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

This exotic flower is most often propagated by cuttings because this method is the easiest and most efficient.

Cuttings are taken in June and half-timbered shoots are chosen. In order not to spoil the appearance of the plant, it is necessary to cut for cuttings those branches and shoots that do not flower, thicken the crown or grow inside. The lower leaves are cut off.

For rooting, cuttings are planted in a substrate of sand and peat, which is poured into a cup, which is then covered with film, or in a container with a lid. The cutting places should be treated first with carbon powder, and then with a product that stimulates root formation, such as: Zircon, Kornevin, etc.

Keep the soil mixture constantly moist, and a suitable air temperature should be about 25-26 degrees. Cuttings will need regular ventilation, and water them when necessary. Remove the shelter should be after the cuttings are in growth. For a better rooting, you will need light and lower heating. The cuttings will give roots in about 6-8 weeks, then transplant it into a pot that is 70-90 mm high and fill it with a mixture of leaf soil, compost, peat and sand.

Repotting should be carried out with extreme care, because the fragile roots can easily injure or tear off. The young bush should not be pulled by the trunk. The best option would be to cut the glass in which the cuttings were rooted. The transplanted plant is placed in a cool (about 20 degrees) light place to finish growing. Once the shoots are 50 mm long, prune them.

When the container is full of roots, the bush is transplanted into a larger pot, reaching 11-12 centimeters across. At the bottom of the container before planting should make a good drainage layer. A young plant will need abundant watering, but make sure that there is no stagnant liquid in the substrate.

In some cases cuttings are cut in February or March. They should have 2 or 3 buds each.

All of the lower leaflets are cut off and the ones that grow on top are shortened by ½, this reduces the evaporation of moisture, which is very important during the rooting process. The cuttings are placed for 24 hours in a glass filled with a solution of a drug that stimulates the formation of roots (Heteroauxin or Kornevin). Root the winter cuttings in the same way as the summer ones.



Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

Air TAPPING is done year round as needed. Take a small container and fill it with moist soil mixture.

Then it is placed near the plant. On the parent bush, you should select an unwoody young shoot, and in the area where you plan to root it, you need to apply scratches or make incisions to stimulate root growth. After that, the prepared shoot should be bent to the surface of the substrate in the container, making sure that the area with scratches tightly adhered to the soil mixture. Once the offshoot has grown its own roots, it is separated from the parent bush and transplanted into an individual container.

Bougainvillea from seed

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

Growing bougainvillea from seed is not easy.

The main difficulty is getting seeds because the insects that carry out pollination are absent in room conditions. In nature, the flowers are pollinated by small hummingbirds found only in the subtropics and tropics.

Seeding material can also be purchased in a specialized store, but to get from it the seedlings will require a lot of time and effort. The seeds are sown from the last days of February to the second half of April. First prepare a fertile loose soil mixture consisting of peat, leafy soil and sand (1:1:1), if desired, you can take a ready-made earth mixture for flower seedlings.

Sowing is carried out in a container with a lid. It is recommended to spend the pre-sowing preparation of the seeds, to do this, they are placed for a few hours in a solution of any biostimulant. Sowing is carried out in a moistened soil mixture, with the seeds deepened only 0,5 cm, the distance between the seeds should be within 20-30 mm. When seeding is complete, the container is covered with a lid. For the seedlings to appear faster, they will need heat (about 26 degrees).

Bottom heating is also recommended, in this case make sure that the substrate temperature is always 30 degrees. Seedlings will need systematic ventilation and watering as needed, which is carried out with a sprayer, using well-distilled warm water. More seedlings will need a lot of light. Therefore, during the cold season mini-greenhouse requires dosvetku, set this phytolamp or bulb daylight. The first seedlings can be shown after about 8-12 weeks.

As soon as this happens, the cover with a container removed. If the seedlings are dense, they should be unpacked in individual cups, but only after they have formed 2 or 3 true leaf plates. When the bushes will grow and get stronger, they are transplanted into small pots on the bottom of which make a drainage layer, the same soil is used as for planting adults. Then the flowers are removed to a permanent place and care for them the same way as for adult plants.

Why does the bougainvillea not bloom

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

If the bougainvillea does not form flowers when growing indoors it is due to care or maintenance errors:

  1. In the winter time the plant was not properly maintained and did not have a proper dormancy period.

  2. For a year it did not have enough sunlight.
  3. The pot was placed in a very large container and the root system had not yet had time to complete its full size.
  4. In the summer, in damp and cool weather, the shrub lacked heat and light.
  5. In the soil mixture too much nitrogen was applied.

If you are sure you did not make these care mistakes, but the flowers still do not appear, then you can try to make the bougainvillea bloom.

To do this, suspend feeding, sharply reduce the frequency of spraying and watering. Take care of the plant in this way should be as long as the young shoots do not form flower buds. After that, the bush again systematically feed (but do not overdo it!) and water. Remember that if you take care of the shrub properly and give it everything it needs, it will certainly make you happy with its beautiful blossoms.

Diseases of bougainvillea

A tropical flower like bougainvillea is highly resistant to diseases.

But if it is not cared for properly, its immunity will weaken.

Leaves fall

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

The leaves of a healthy bush fall off shortly before the dormancy period begins is a quite natural process. But if the leaves fall at a different time, there can be several reasons: the plant was exposed to a draught, was turned the other way round, or was moved to a new location.

Leaves can also fall from a recently purchased plant. In this case the loss of greenery is due to the move, which causes the plant stress.

If the bush starts to fall bare, make sure it has the best growing conditions and the best care, in which case it will very soon gain lush foliage and start to flower.

The bush can also drop its leaves if you take it out into the fresh air in the summer and bring it inside in the fall. And even if you just move it somewhere with less light, this too can cause the leaves to drop.

The leaves are faded

If the leaves are faded, it is a sign that the shrub has chlorosis. This usually happens when the substrate contains too little iron and other nutrients.

Feed the plant as soon as possible and spray the foliage with iron chelate.

Spots on the leaves

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

If soft white spots appear on the surface of the leaf plates, this is a sign that the soil mixture is constantly standing watery and the room is not well ventilated. In this case, the room should be ventilated regularly, and watering should be reduced to moderate. All foliage with spots is cut off.

Yellowing and turning leaves

Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

This can be caused by excessive watering, causing the substrate to become sour and the root system to lack oxygen.

This problem usually occurs in winter. In this case, the flower should be watered less often and use less water, as well as refuse to fertilize and moisten the leaves for a while. It will be very good if it "hibernates" for a while.

The bush has become sluggish

If the bush has lost its turgor, it is recommended to treat it with a solution of a product that stimulates growth. Then cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in a shady spot for 2 to 3 days, making sure to air it out systematically.

Stopped growing

If you notice that the bush has stopped growing, this could be because it is in too small a container and the root system has nowhere to grow. In this case, the flower will need to be replanted in a larger container.

A very old shrub (over ten years old) can also stop growing. It will become stiff and no flowers will form. Specialists advise in this case to propagate the bougainvillea in good time.

Root rot

If the roots are rotten, you can try to save the bougainvillea. Take it out of the container and carefully remove the soil mixture from the root system. If this is necessary, first immerse the roots in a container of warm water and then remove all soil from them. Then inspect the roots and cut out any rotten or injured roots. The remaining roots should be kept for some time in a solution of Phytosporin, it is also sprayed on the leaves of the plant.

After that, all the cut places are covered with wood ash or charcoal powder. The bush is then planted in a fresh soil mixture and given good care.


Bougainvillea: home care, replanting and propagation

Several pests settle on bougainvillea. You can tell when there is a powdery growth (powdery worm) or a spider web (spider mite) on the leaves and the leaves may become sticky and faded (aphids). To rid the bush of pests, you can resort to folk remedies, namely: arrange the plant warm shower, use infusion of wood ash or garlic, and for spraying you can take a solution of laundry soap.

However, if there are a lot of pests, then it is better to immediately spray the bush with a special insecticide, which can be purchased at a specialized store, for example: Actellic, Aktara or Fitoverm. To definitely get rid of the pests, you will need at least two treatments. Before you start spraying, you must carefully read the instructions included with the product.

Bougainvillea - The most important thing to know to get started .


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