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How to keep bougainvilleas blooming |John Dromgoole |Central Texas Gardener

December 16, 2019

Hello good evening friends and welcome to Backyard Basics, I’m John Dromgoole. Here in the summer time one of the best
sources of color can be the bougainvilleas in your yard. You can grow them in containers or
hanging baskets, I really like the hanging baskets. And one of the things about the bougainvilleas be a is it really doesn’t like much about pete based potting soil mainly because it holds so much water and it needs good drainage. These guys are heavy feeders if you’re not feeding your bougainvillea it might be that they’re not going to
perform the way you want them to. So a good nitrogen source and some phosphorus are really really important. Their pH is written down there it’s a
5.5 or a 6.5 that’s pretty low that’s on the acid side. So we use iron
frequently and I like to use it when it’s mixed with seaweed because we get
the trace minerals also. We also put some sulfur in there to
achieve that lower pH about every three months or so.
Look at the directions you’ll see how to do in whatever size container you’ve got. Full sun this is really important these guys
perform better in the full sun. They’re tolerant to a little me to
shade but you’re just not going to get to performance that you wan.t These guys are from Brazil if you wondering
where their natural habitat is their from down in Brazil on the eastern
side next to the coastline. So this is
where these guys grow and I’ve seen some bonsai they’re really
pretty as a bonsai plant. You know after their bloom they have a
rest period that they go into and so you can’t force them to bloom at
that time you have to understand and allow that rest period. The other thing is that during that rest
period you may want to get a little bit of
control, they bloom a new wood if you’re wondering. It’s not stressed that makes
them bloom it’s the brand new wood that comes off of them. So one of the things to do is cut it back and force it to grow out so this long
one right here I want to bring back into the size of
these other ones. So I’ll go ahead and give it a cut right about in here and what I’m using are
some small sheers because they’re much easier
to handle than some of the big ones. Although you need the big ones on some of
the older plants to keep them nice and compact and really good-looking. Mainly for container plants they’re
really pretty that way. So a little bit of sulfur to keep
that pH down, some iron and mineral from seaweed very good one and then
something like this has to grow. There may be other products out there I like this one because it doesn’t
accumulate in the soil. And you know you can use coffee grounds also, coffee grounds will help acidified the
soil in there overtime, it’s a slow process but once it gets going the coffee grounds are a real good thing
to add to it. Full sun, a well draining soil and nutrients it
really is important to keep these guys well-fed in order to get them to perform the way
you want. Proper watering techniques also. A wet to dry basis but not this extreme
dry that you hear from some people it is needing some good growth and after
you pinch it back and you can see where these pinches
occur, you can see where the new growth comes out after you cut it back. It’s really nice and the new growth is
going to be where the flowers are. So one of the prettiest baskets in the
heat of the summer can be the bougainvilleas when you know how to grow them you will
have the great performance that you see in many of the garden centers or other
people’s homes. Bougainvilleas are a wonderful plant for the summer time. I’m john Dromgoole and this has been
Backyard Basics. on


  • Reply ramon morales July 9, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Could I use the miracle gro plant food for acid loving plants

  • Reply goofeymaloofey August 7, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    finally! someone who gives me some idea of a good soil composition for my Mum's 5 ft tall potted bougainvillea! Ive had him 7 yrs and lately he has just quit blooming and seems stressed. The only difference I can see is that I have a bit of new soil on top. It has more peat than my usual tropical potting soil mix. I would like to re-pot and rejuvenate the soil but now I'm concerned I will kill him. Could you direct me to more information on how to care for my Nebraska Bougie?

  • Reply jennifer chung September 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I hve a few coller, I realy love them. they like plenty sunn
    and thnx for the tips

  • Reply jennifer chung September 7, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    plenty sunn but also good water, I use mericle grow

  • Reply Willa Johnson October 17, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Thank you good info

  • Reply Sarah Harn October 27, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    What brand or type of soil for potting? Maybe a similar soil used for cactus and succulents? Also, can you bring them indoors and overwinter them (zone 8a)?

  • Reply JupiterMoon June 3, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Can you grow them outdoors in ground in zone 8b. I am just concerned about them in winter.

  • Reply Rik Miles November 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Sorry dude, but that is not the correct pronunciation of Bonsai. It’s not Bone Si, it’s Bon Si.

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