Firstly, and most importantly, Bougainvillea are not hardy plants - they will need winter protection indoors. They are one of the few non-hardy plants we stock, as they are just so spectacular in flower, flowering almost throughout the growing season. Read on for our car recommendations.
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. 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.
Bougainvillea are easy to over-winter in the UK, but they don’t like temperature change. They are best kept in a conservatory or heated greenhouse during the winter months. They need to be kept at 5°C or above and not allowed to get too damp.
The summer months
Properly caring for your Bougainvillea will give you with a lovely display in the summer months. 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.
Pests aren’t very common on Bougainvillea, but still exist. Red spider mite, greenfly and whitefly are the main culprits. They can either be washed off with soapy water or sprayed with an insecticide.
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.