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Associated with Mediterranean and sunnier climes but bougainvillea still do very well in the UK in a sunny position. These young plants have been trained into a standard shape, and would look fabulous on a sunny windowsill or on a patio table where they are sure to make a real impact. Best protected from frost and kept indoors in winter they grow rapidly and flower on and off from March through to October.
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Bougainvillea are usually grown outdoors in warm Mediterranean countries. However, they will also do well in the UK, either on a patio in the summer or indoors on a sunny window sill or conservatory. If they have enough light, bougainvillea are really very easy to look after and will provide colour all summer. The bright tones come from their bracts (leaves) and the ’real’ flowers are the white centres.
Light is very important to Bougainvillea. Try and keep it near a window or in a porch or conservatory. In the warmest sunny months, you can put it out on the patio or balcony. However, don’t let it get too hot or cold, and water regularly. A cool room is fine, but a draughty porch or a frosty conservatory is not. If it gets below 10 degrees Celsius it will suffer.
Your bougainvillea will need regular watering but do not allow the soil to become too wet. The soil should be allowed to dry out a little on the top before watering again. Always make sure you do not leave your plant sitting in water, this can suffocate the roots and eventually rot them.
You should find that your bougainvillea will flower several times throughout the summer. At the end of each flush of flowers pinch out the dead blossoms and you may also need to cut back the dead stalks too. These will encourage new growth and tidy up the plant.
Bougainvillea respond well to being quite pot bound so unless your plant really puts on a lot of growth over the summer it should not need repotting until next Spring. At that time, you are best to use a slightly acidic free draining compost. You can keep the plant in its standard shape with regular pruning, if you like, or it can be trained up a wall or grown into a bush if needed.
Bougainvillea flower best if they are not overfed, repotting in spring should be enough food to keep your plant going, If the growth slows down and becomes light feed it once more in mid-summer with a balanced all-purpose feed to keep it healthy.
In this country the low light levels in the winter months can lead to some leaf drop. Give your plant a light prune in the early spring to tidy it up and it will soon produce a fresh flush of green leaves followed by coloured bracts and flowers.
If you are struggling to produce or reproduce the flowering bracts try moving to a sunnier position.