Bougainvillea is an ever flowering plant, which blooms almost throughout the year turning into a bright flowery plant, with some green leaves visible between the dense blooms! A woody plant, Bougainville can be trimmed and maintained as a shrub, can be grown into a beautiful vine trailing around walls and windows, or grown as a bonsai tree in small pots, and in every form, it looks dreamy and gorgeous. Originally from South America, this ornamental plant produces tiny cream or pink colored flowers within origami-paper like textured, colourful bracts. The white, pink, purple or variegated blooms adorn the plant for weeks together. A super hardy vine, it thrives in full sun and is drought tolerant, hence a perfect plant for terrace gardeners.
Common name: Bougainvillea, Paperflowers
Scientific name: Bougainvillea glabra and Bougainvillea spectabilis are the most widely grown varieties of the Bougainvillea family.
Size: 3ft to 40 ft! It really depends on how you shape and prune it.
Toxicity: Bougainvillea sap is mildly toxic if ingested, however the prickly thorns and sap can cause dermatitis.
Where to keep the plant: Balcony or garden. Needs sun.
Once in two days. To encourage bougainvillea blooms, let the soil completely dry out between waterings. In fact, it is completely fine to water only when the leaves appear to droop. In summer, water everyday since the heat is very high.
Full sun. Bougainvillea needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, however you may shift your bougainvillea bonsai in partial shade during summer months.
Well draining garden soil. Bougainvillea grows well in normal garden soil with some added gravel. Add in organic compost for nutrient rich medium.
About 50% relative humidity. Bougainvillea, a temperate and subtropical plant,prefers humidity on the higher side, however it can survive in slightly drier areas too.
In spring and summer months, fertilize the plant weekly with a liquid based fertilizer. It hardly needs any fertilizer during winter.
Propagation can be done with stem cuttings, but it’s slightly tricky for most gardeners. Take hardwood cuttings from the mother plant(without any leaves) and repot in moist soil. Keep away from direct sunlight. Using a rooting hormone may be required.