Firstly, and most importantly, Bougainvillea are not hardy plants they will need to be protected indoors for winter. They are one of the few non-hardy plants we always stock as they are just so spectacular in flower, and that they flower nearly all through the growing season.
Watering bougainvillea plants
During the resting phase (winter) be careful not to let them get cold and/or damp. As they aren’t growing during this phase, they won’t need much water, so only give them water during the growing periods when the compost is obviously getting dry or the leaves start to wilt. More bougainvillea are killed by too much water than by too little.
Over-wintering bougainvillea plants
Bougainvillea are easy to over-winter in the UK, but they don’t like temperature change. They are best kept in a conservatory or greenhouse during the winter months, so long as they are kept at 5°C or above and not allowed to get too damp.
Bougainvillea plants in the summer months
Properly caring for your bougainvillea plant will leave you with a lovely plant display in the summer. They should flower non-stop and grow new shoots profusely. They can either go outside in a sheltered garden or can be kept in a greenhouse or conservatory, provided they are given good ventilation. They may need to be watered about twice a week, depending on how hot it is. Although they love sunlight they will not enjoy extreme heat.
Bougainvillea plant pests
Pests aren’t very common on bougainvillea, but still exist. Red spider mite, greenfly and white fly are the main culprits. They can either be washed off with soapy water or sprayed with an insecticide.
Bougainvillea plant potting
Potting should be done once a year, preferably in the spring. The compost should have a pH of 6.5. (John Innes No 3 is good) with either grit or bark chippings to aid drainage.