Moving Bougainvillea to Gritty Mix

tillygrowerApril 12, 2012

I have largely ignored Bougainvillea as I have read they are finicky about their growing conditions. I broke down and bought a particular nice one today, and have been reading on GardenWeb that it is possible to overwinter them indoors in my zone 7b. The thought of keeping it going for several years makes me think I should move the plant to gritty mix. I think I read here that Al has done that with success, while other postings say this plant hates to have its roots disturbed. Have others had success transplanting their Bougainvillea in to gritty mix?

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I am in colder zone and have 2 of these, both gifted to me.
They survived 3 & 4 yrs respectively - so far (one pink, one white).

I am planning to replant them both into a gritty mix, since I am sure they would do better. Winters are not very good to them together with watering/retentive soil, I am sure. I keep them outside as soon as temps allow, and they love it. Bloomed few times too. I am pruning them a lot since I don't enough space.
One of them gets spider mites thruout the winter, other one doesn't. Regular spraying with alcohol solution & often showers seem to help.

I be inetersted to see what other-more experienced have to say.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 9:35AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I've also heard that Bougies don't like their roots disturbed, but honestly I've come to ignore that idea because I've repotted the two I maintain several times each w/o so much as a hiccup. I treat them like all my other tropicals - same fertilizing regimen. If I do anything special for them it's in the way of ensuring they stay warm and don't get over-watered. IOW - I try to be sure they dry down quite a bit before I water. I maintain them under lights in the basement over winter where it's about 63-65*. Like the rest of my tropicals there, they about hold their own - it's cooler than they prefer, even on a propagation mat. They do really well in the summer heat, though.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Al, thanks for weighing in on this. Have you put yours in your 1:1:1 gritty mix, or did you use some other ratio? Given that I've read, too, that it does not like having its roots disturbed, any tricks on how to bare-root it without damaging it?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I transplanted more than two dozen different varieties of tropical plants into gritty mix at the beginning of summer last year. I bare rooted a bougainvillea that was about three feet tall and put it in classic gritty mix in a five-gallon container. Of all my plants, it probably showed the most positive response. I kept it in light shade and sheltered from the wind for about a week after transplanting, then moved it into full sun for summer. It began putting on healthy new growth right away. I found that it needed watering at least every other day, and was quick to wilt if I tried to go longer.

When I brought it inside last fall, it lost most of its leaves, but began leafing out again within a couple weeks. Over the winter I only watered when it started to wilt. Inside in a sunny window, it could go three or four weeks between waterings. It put on at least another foot of growth and is now bigger and better than ever.

The one issue I had was that it does seem to attract pests, including aphids, white flies and spider mites. I solved that problem with neem oil outside and a systemic insecticide indoors.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:33AM
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