An Unhappy Bougainvillea

Last summer we bought a small bougainvillea from the local garden center. My wife loves these plants and was forever reminding me every time we saw them while away on holiday. In the last couple of years I kept noticing them in garden centers and debated whether they’d survive the winter here i the UK.

After buying it we kept it in our south facing conservatory and it didn’t seem to do too well. After a few weeks it stopped flowering and was looking rather unhappy. After upping the watering considerably and feeding once a week it burst back into flower and kept going all summer right through until about early November.

Recently it has been looking more and more unhappy. Not only has it been infected with aphids (which i’ve sprayed) but it has recently dropped all of it’s leaves. As you can see below it looks more than a little sorry for itself.

Bougainvillea Leaf Drop

Bougainvillea Leaf Drop

I suspect the leaf drop is as a result of the very cold temperatures we’ve been having. Night time temperatures in the conservatory have been falling to about 10 degrees Celsius so I’ve decided to move it back into the living room where the temperatures are a bit warmer.

After doing a bit of research here’s the general advice I’ve found for looking after bougainvillea plants:

  • They like being pot bound
  • Don’t feed if overly dry roots, water first
  • Feed once a week
  • Give as much sun as possible
  • Keep in frost free environment during winter

I also read that bougainvilleas can drop their leaves in temperatures under 10 degrees. Hopefully with a little TLC I can revive this plant and get it back to it’s best in the Spring.

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