How To Make Your Bougainvillea Flower
How to make your bougainvillea flower? Yes, let’s make those paper flowers bloom.A woody climber or clambering shrub, Bougainvillea is a darling of plant lovers. This evergreen beauty bursts into a profusion of colourful papery flowers. But wait! Those vibrant hues of pink, red, orange, off-white, blue, and green that you see aren’t true flowers. Indeed, bougainvillea flowers are tiny and barely visible - it is the ‘bracts’ that give you all the value for money!
Bougainvillea LOVES the sun. Indirect or dappled light or bright artificial light won’t work to make it flower. Direct light - and 6-7 hours of it - is what this plant needs. So place it outdoors in your garden or adorn your south or west-facing balconies with it. And, remember never to overwater the bougainvillea. Do not water the plant if the soil in your pots is moist. Soggy soil is the best way to make bougainvillea shed all its flowers and give you just a green, leafy display. Oops, did just that? Well, here’s the remedy - stop watering it daily.
In fact, don’t water the pots till the leaves begin to droop a little - which under the usual sunny conditions of most of India translates into watering twice or thrice a week. This water stress will help the plants switch back into flowering mode. Remember, bougainvillea, once it has set its roots in your pot or garden and grown big and mighty, is quite drought-resistant. It is a lover of hot and dry climes!
Basic ecology - the bougainvillea is a native of Mexico. Two species - Bougainvillea spectabilis (greater bougainvillea) and Bougainvillea glabra (lesser bougainvillea) are popular - horticulture experts over the world have produced a number of differently colored varieties to give that rainbow feel to your garden.
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