Dwarf Bougainvillea Plant Care
Bougainvilleas can provide an abundance of beautiful colorful flower blooms to your garden area, this hardy tropical plant can either be grown as a vine, shrub, or tree. What I also love about the bougainvillea plant is that once mature or established becomes drought-tolerant, the ideal place to grow bougainvilleas are USDA zones 9 to 11
This garden beauty is a woody plant that has lots of thorns so be careful when handling because if caution is not taken you can get a painful stick. Bougainvilleas are salt-tolerant and will be an added bonus to coastal gardens. Another feature of bougainvilleas is they attract wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and nectar-loving insects.
For those of you who would love a more manageable bougainvillea, we will be turning our attention to two dwarf species which are Helen Johnson and Sunvillea varieties.
The Helen Johnson produces an abundance of flowers that are grown in clusters, the blossoms of the Helen Johnson are bright pink with a hint of purple. Newly opening flower bracts have a slight pink-orange tone, to keep your Helen Johnson nicely groomed trim to a height of no more than 3 ft. The Helen Johnson can be planted 2-1/2 to 3 ft apart.
The flowers of the Sunvillea bougainvillea are a soft salmon-pink, a rose dark pink bordering on purple and white with a touch of creamy yellow. The Sunvillea bougainvillea can reach heights of 2-3 ft tall when installing space 1-1/2 to 2 ft apart.
Bougainvillea Soil Type
Because bougainvilleas are drought-tolerant the soil type should be well-drained or sandy, a little compost however may be added to the planting hole to retain some moisture.
Bougainvillea Planting Location
The ideal location to install your bougainvillea is an area that gets lots of sunlight, this plant is a tropical beauty that loves the full sun.
Bougainvillea Watering Methods
Wait until the soil dries before applying water, once the soil is dry water your bougainvillea deeply to the point where the root zone is saturated, then allow the soil to dry completely before reaping step one.
How to Fertilize Bougainvillea
Your bougainvillea should be fertilized every other week between spring and fall, during their flowering season or bloom period. Bougainvilleas require a constant supply of nutrients. An all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted at a rate of 1 to 2 teaspoons in 1-gallon water is sufficient. During the winter months decrease the amount of fertilizer once every 4 t0 6 weeks.
Bougainvillea Insect Pests
Keep an eye out for the bougainvillea loppers along with aphids, aphids are soft-bodied suckling insects that suck the plant’s fluids causing leaf and flower drop. Control these insects with insecticidal soap, when treating plants make sure that the spray comes out of the spray nozzle fine and misty. Make sure to get full coverage of both the leave’s top and underside, before applying read and follow the manufacturer’s direction for the best results.
The bougainvillea loppers are nocturnal meaning they are most active at night times which makes the ideal time to treat them. The only thing you will see during daylight is the damage or webbing, as you do your inspection you may come across these insects. The caterpillars (bougainvillea loppers) do damage by chewing holes in the leaves causing the plant to appear sickly.
These caterpillars appear around mid-summer, the use of bacillus thuringiensis or neem oil will bring control, before applying chemicals read and follow the manufactures direction for the best results.
Bougainvillea Plant Diseases
Keep an eye out for these diseases, treating them immediately will bring good results.
Plants which has pale green leaves with dark veins along with yellow leaves are an indication that your plant may have chlorosis, root rot may also encourage this disease. A lack of iron is the major cause, 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a gallon of water well shaken and poured around the plant’s root zone will help. Aluminum sulfate or iron sulfate will correct this problem as well, follow the manufacturer’s direction for the best results
Leaf spot appears as reddish-brown spots on leaves especially the new growth, this color spreads and enlarges causing defoliation or leaf drop. To avoid leaf spots don’t allow the leaves to get wet, watering bougainvilleas during the morning hours will allow the leaves to dry also pruning will help with proper air circulation. When this disease shows up, immediately remove infected plant parts, a fungicide will offer some help but will not bring total cure.
Root rot is caused by overwatering or soils that have poor drainage, signs of root rot include yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop. If discovered early the use of a spectrum fungicides will help but if the disease has spread and the plant has deteriorated remove and discard of.
Where to Use Dwarf Bougainvilleas
1. Dwarf bougainvilleas can be used around the base of palms and other trees that has a long naked trunk.
2. Dwarf bougainvilleas looks great lining a walk or driveway.
3. Can be grown in containers for a container garden, the containers can be placed on your porch, patio, on either side of your main door entrance, etc…
4. Dwarf bougainvilleas can be planted on the south side of the house that gets the most sunlight, being used as a foundation planting.
5. Accent or border plant for a plant bed.
What other places can you think of to Install Dwarf Bougainvilleas?
The final word on dwarf bougainvillea plant
Dwarf bougainvilleas are so easy to grow and care for, these garden beauties have so many benefits and make a great investment. If you are looking for a hardy type plant that will attract wildlife to your garden then this is the plant for you. I love bougainvilleas except for the thorns that can deliver a painful stick.
I have worked with bougainvilleas over the years on many garden projects and have not been disappointed, following these simple steps will bring much success as you enjoy these plants with their colorful flower blooms.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.