Who doesn’t love a bougainvillea? These stunningly showy and hardy plants are virtually pest free and disease resistant with a legendary reputation for being incredibly versatile. They can be potted, grow to a sizeable tree, climb a wall or trellis and make great hedges, bushes and curb-liners.
Native to the coast of Brazil bougainvilleas thrive in warm climates and have a high salt tolerance making them perfect for beach side residences. First discovered in 1768 by French Naturalist Dr. Philibert Commercon he named the plant after his sea-fairing friend and ship’s admiral Louis-Antonine de Bougainville. Later in the 19th century natural hybrids were discovered all over the world. Facts from BGI
A tropical plant with two distinct growth cycles, vegetative growth and blooming, the bougainvillea does not like frost and thrives in full sun. The vegetative period is when new leaves and stems grow and if adequate sunlight is available then new buds will form too setting up the plant for its next cycle of blooming.
The blooming period lasts for 3-5 weeks (sometimes even longer) depending on the overall health of the plant and its environment – the more sun and heat the better! During this stage little or no vegetative growth occurs. Prolong the blooming period by regularly fertilizing.
The minimum hours of direct sunlight a bougainvillea requires is 5 hours. If the plant does not receive this in the vegetative cycle then it will not progress to blooming. Due to this Bougainvillea’s thrive in equatorial environments (ie. The Whitsundays!). Prune and trim at the end of the blooming period to promote branching and budding for the next cycle.
With a fine root system bougainvillea’s love well-drained soils to avoid root rot. Check out our other Plant Spotlights like our blog on Rosellas. Visit our garden centre of call 4946 1258 to find out what Bougainvillea’s we have in stock (or can order in!) and also grab some of these recommended products to help you care for you plants.