Large Bougainvillea Pyramid
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Bougainvilleas are usually grown outdoors in warm Mediterranean countries, However they will also do well on a UK patio in the summer or indoors on a sunny window sill or conservatory. As long as they have enough light, bougainvillea are really very easy to look after and will provide colour for most of the summer. The bright purple and pink tones actually 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. On sunny days you can put it out on a patio or balcony. However, don"t let it get too hot or cold, while in a small pot. A cool room is fine, but a draughty porch or a frosty conservatory is not. If it gets below 5 degrees Centigrade it will suffer.
Whilst your bougainvillea is in quite a small pot it will need regular but not over watering. The soil should be damp not wet between waterings and the roots should never sit in water for more than half an hour or so as too much water may suffocate the roots.
As the flowers fade, pinch out the dead blossoms to encourage growth and make the plant look tidy. You should find that your bougainvillea flowers several times throughout the summer and at the end of each flush of flowers you may need to cut back the dead stalks to keep it neat. 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. Over time in the right spot these pretty plants can grow to a sizeable bush.
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
Apparently bougainvillea was discovered by a french naturalist visiting brazil in 1768 he named it "Bougainville" after his close friend and ships captain and the name has stuck ever since