How Do You Keep Bougainvillea Bonsai Alive In The Winter?
Since Bougainvillea Bonsai needs full sun and optimal drainage, the most valuable thing you can do for your plant is plant it in the ground in southern regions of the United States. If you live in a northern region, you must be prepared to give it water year- round.
However, if you have a sunny spot with good drainage and protect from winter winds, your Bougainvillea Bonsai should do just fine. The following are the ways to keep Bougainvillea Bonsai in winter;
- Place the containers in a cool but non-freezing location. Typically, the garage or basement is good, but the plant must have access to sunshine. The winter care of bougainvillea plants includes keeping them on the drier side. As spring approaches, increase watering gradually.
- Reduce the amount of fertilizer to maintain a decent leaf color all season.
- Remove the plants, if you want to put them away for winter storage. When removing them from their containers, use a strong and flexible plastic rope or wire cage. Do not dispose of these cages in your regular trash receptacle as they can accidentally be thrown into a landfill where they may leach toxic chemicals into the soil and water (a process called land-fill).
- Water the plants a couple of days before removal, then water them again a few days after they’ve been put in storage.
- Protect the roots from being chilled by covering them with a thick layer of potting soil.
- Since bougainvillea is naturally resistant to many pests and fungal problems, it is not necessary to treat your plant for disease or pests. Use insect and disease control products only as a final solution if your plant is severely affected by pests and diseases.
- Remove leaves from the plant to encourage new growth.
- Provide the plant with additional shade if severely damaged by frost or cold.
- Make sure that the soil drains well and is not too wet, which could cause rot or invasion of disease-causing organisms.
- If you leave your Bougainvillea Bonsai outside, be aware that it can be damaged by insects and temperature variations.
- Water only when the top 1 inch of soil is dry to the touch.
- Do not allow them to remain wet for long periods during their dormancy period
- Bougainvillea Bonsai requires full sun and a minimum temperature of 23°C (75°F).
What Is The Best Soil To Use When Growing Bougainvillea?
Bougainvillea can grow in almost any soil and under almost any conditions. There are some soils however, that will provide better growing results. Bougainvillea will thrive in slightly acidic soils that are supplied with plenty of organic matter, moisture and they must not be allowed to dry out too often.
Bougainvillea will also grow well in loam soils and good drainage is critical to prevent root rot. Bougainvillea Bonsai will grow well in full sun, partial shade or even full shade.
They do great in desert gardens or tropical gardens where they will grow under the shade of other trees as long as they are getting enough sunlight. Soil should be sandy with lots of organic matter and the pH level should be around 5.5-7.0.
Can Bougainvillea Bonsai Grow From Cuttings?
Bougainvillea Bonsai plants are often propagated by cuttings, although they may also be grown from seeds. This is commonly done during late summer, when the young stems are actively growing.
Cuttings should be taken from healthy shoots that are approximately ten centimeters long. Larger ones will have to be split into smaller sections before planting, so that the cut ends can dry out.
To perform a cutting of Bougainvillea, use sharp plant scissors and make sure that you clean the blades between cuts. Bougainvillea Bonsai can be propagated from tip-cuttings which are taken from the terminal growing end, or lateral cuttings of mature plants.
The Bougainvillea Bonsai can be cut off into a pot containing soil that is similar to that which it was previously grown in. Bougainvillea Bonsai prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, so it is essential that the soil contains peat moss, or other similar organic material that has been composted.
This is because its roots are sensitive to alkaline soils and will die if they are subjected to pH levels above 7.0.
Mature Bougainvillea Bonsai can be cut back to induce vigorous regrowth, but cutting back should not be done in the autumn when the plant is dormant.
Why Does My Bougainvillea Bonsai Drop Its Leaves?
Bougainvillea Plants are sometimes affected by leaf-drop. This kind of leaf fall is not related to cold temperature or decline in nutrition. It can be described as sudden leaf fall under normal weather conditions of high temperature and good nutrition.
If you allow a Bougainvillea Bonsai to become very dry, its leaves will fall off. (Leaf drop may occur long after the onset of severe wilting) If the plant is re-watered before it dies of thirst, it should send forth new growth and recover (sometimes blooming as a result of the drought stress). The most common reasons why a Bougainvillea Bonsai will drop its leaves include;
Too much light: If a Bougainvillea Bonsai is exposed to direct sunlight without protection, the leaves will turn yellow, brown or black and drop off. A common cause of leaf drop is too much sun.
This can happen when a plant is transplanted into too much sunlight. Or if you’ve moved your Bougainvillea Bonsai from shade to sun gradually but its leaves are turning yellow or dropping off, then you may have made the move too fast for its liking.
Overwatering: Bougainvillea Bonsai is a tropical plant that requires a lot of water. Overwatering is one of the most common causes of leaf drop. Give your Bougainvillea Bonsai only as much water as it needs, and not enough to make its roots sit in water for long periods of time.
Underwatering: The other reason Bougainvillea Bonsai may drop their leaves is an overabundance of nutrients. If you feed your Bougainvillea Bonsai too much fertilizer, the plant will gain too much weight and then drop its leaves.
Poor drainage: A Bougainvillea Bonsai that has been over watered or sitting in soil that is too wet for long periods of time will drop its leaves. You can test your soil by letting a leaf sit in water for a few minutes, or have a handful of dry soil sit in water. If the top 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of soil is dry to the touch and there is no browning or soft spots, you’re all set.
Exposure to cold temperature: Bougainvillea Bonsai will begin to drop their leaves when exposed to temperatures below 40°F (4°C). If your Bougainvillea Bonsai sits outdoors in winter, the weather can drop below 40°F (4°C) and that is when it will begin to drop its leaves.
Pests and Diseases: Pests and disease can sometimes cause Bougainvillea Bonsai to drop its leaves. A lot of fungal and pest attacks occur during the summer temperatures when moisture is at its peak.
Does Bougainvillea Bonsai Bloom On Old Or New Growth?
Bougainvillea Bonsai flowers and bracts only develop on fresh growth and not on old wood. To encourage fresh flowers, you must stimulate new growth; therefore, pruning the plant after its initial seasonal blossoming will lead it to expand and flower again.
Bougainvillea Bonsai flowers need to be removed or pinched out to encourage new growth, but do not prune away old branches. If they are of use, cut them back at the point where fresh growth begins.
Bougainvillea Bonsai requires the majority of its nutrients through its leaves and flowers before they fall off. Be sure to fertilize your Bougainvillea Bonsai in early spring with a good quality fertilizer that is specifically formulated for bonsai plants.
Blooming will begin shortly after fertilization and continue for several weeks. Bougainvillea Bonsai also requires a weekly watering during flowering and requires more water during periods of excessive growth.
How Much Sunlight Does A Bougainvillea Like?
Bougainvillea flowers best in high levels of sunlight and they may not tolerate low levels of sunlight. An area with very high sun exposure should be selected so that the bougainvillea can stay healthy.
The growing conditions for Bougainvillea Bonsai is to be shaded from direct sun or it will burn the leaves and reduce leaf growth.
To prevent this from happening, the bougainvillea should be placed in a location that gets lots of sunlight but within an area that is shaded and protected from harmful UV rays.
Bougainvillea Bonsai has thick leaves which protect it from sunburn so it can handle more sunlight than most other plants. Placing the plant in a location that gets partial shade will also protect it against sunburn.
Bougainvillea Bonsai can be grown in partial shade as long as it is getting an adequate amount of sunlight. Bougainvillea Bonsai can also be grown in full shade but it will not flower as profusely.
Ensure that the soil of a bougainvillea plant gets enough sunlight to allow the plant to grow strong roots and healthy leaves, branches and flowers.