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Bare root a Bougainvillea?

Posted by bgtimber75 MD, zone 7 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 14, 11 at 11:57

So I got 2 Bougainvillea's in Florida last year and of course since I'm not in a tropical location I have pot them and overwinter them inside. With most of the reading I did on them it says that the roots don't like being disturbed. That said when I repoted them this spring I did my best to not not disturb the roots but even with that they lost most to all of their leaves. They're filling back in now in the sun of the back yard but I would really like to put them in the gritty mix since they like dry unfertile "soil" (at least from my readings. With that said would I be able to actually bare root these things? And if so what is the best time of year to do it, in the fall before bringing them in to go dormant or next spring as they're coming out of dormancy, or somewhere in between?

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RE: Bare root a Bougainvillea?

Anecdotal evidence from someone who is new to gritty mix this season:

I bought one from a good gardening center about four weeks ago because it was on sale due to fairly poor health. It was rootbound in very peaty soil with moss growing on top. It also was wilting badly within a few hours of getting it home. I discovered aphids on it, and used heavy spray from the hose to remove them. The next day, I barerooted it and transplanted it into gritty mix in a larger pot. After dousing it with neem oil because the garden center warned me it might also have white flies, I put it in bright shade for a week to recover from repotting.

Within three days, it perked up considerably. By the end of the week I put it where it gets full sun for six or more hours a day. Temperatures have been unseasonably warm here (in the high 80s and up to 97 last week), so I have been watering it every couple days and ferilizing it with Foliage Pro once a week. It's put on a lot of new growth, never losing a leaf, and now the leaves at the tips of the branches are starting to color up. Of all the plants I've put in gritty mix (about 20 different species, from herbs to clivias), this one has shown the most rapid positive response.

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