** BOUGANVILLA ** advice please!

Discussion in 'Vines and Climbers' started by concerned, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. concerned

    concerned Member

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    Please help,

    I moved into a house with numerous large beautiful and very old, bouganvilla.

    At first it looked very healthy, but after a few months I noticed under the fresh flowering branches is what looks like a mess of old dead bouganvilla branches with no leaves or flowers. Are these leafless crispy branches dead?

    Should I cut off the old crispy branches and just leave the fresher seemingly healthier branches? Will pruning encourage new growth?

    Or will the old tangle of leafless branches eventually bloom again?

    Also, I think my bouganvilla did not have as many leafless branches in July. (I'm not sure though) Is there something that I might have done to cause a huge leaf and flower drop this fall? I only water them about once a month.

    I love these plants and want care for them properly.
    Thank you,
     
  2. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
  3. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Bouganvillea want more water once a month,is little, prune ,in my zone (9) i prune this plant in end febbrary ....
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Have just had a segment on one of our gardening shows. He planted a young one and said not to disturb roots when taking out of the pot and he fed it with seaweed. He then said to feed two or three times a year with a complete fertilizer. Also just prior to blooming give potash to encourage blooms. There were 3 types and the big old fashion ones were up trees and over balconies. apparently they like lots of sun. There was a low growing one that was good for hedging and I can't remember the middle type. The range of colours available are gorgeous. You may want to check this web page out next week when they put the episode up

    http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/b/better-homes-gardens/1939/next-weeks-show/

    Liz
     
  5. concerned

    concerned Member

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    Thank you for all your help. It helped me clarify my question.

    My bougie has loads of new beautiful vines and flowers on top of a what looks like a rats nest of crisp old leafless branches.

    Are the leaf less branches dead? (And should therefore be cut out?) Or are they dormant? (and I should leave them be because they will sprout new growth eventually?)

    I think they are dead because I would think a dormant plant would not continue to sprout lots of new growth. But I really don't know.

    Thanks so much@@!

    The bougie is probably 70 years old, gets lots of sun and the new growth is very healthy.
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Snap a twig/branch and see. You will soon know. If dead prune otherwise see what happens. :)

    Liz
     
  7. concerned

    concerned Member

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    If I snap it, what would i see if the twigs/branches are dormant? Do bougie branches become crispy during dormancy?

    Thanks so much!
     
  8. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    at this point ,is better if the bouganvillea remain in this conditions ,not prune,not fertilize ,this care in spring!
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes it will look and feel very brittle However since I am at the other end of the planet do your pruning as recommended by the northern hemisphere people. Wait and see if it is still all dry etc. in spring when eveything else is shooting then prune it. I saw my friends lovely topiary ball today. [early summer] It is a bright crimson.

    Liz
     
  10. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Growing bougainvilleas in California is probably a whole different business from Florida, but like Liz, I see no harm in removing dead stems--and probably everything that looks dead, is. But if you cut a stem that turns out to be green and live on the inside, simply stop and wait until spring.

    In our summer-wet climate, they flower best during the annual spring drought, and they grow happily on very well-drained sand dunes without irrigation.

    Since your plant's an old one, it probably had an episode of being unhappy for one reason or another and is getting back to life as usual. I've seen that kind of dieback here.
     
  11. filfilksq

    filfilksq Member

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    Location:
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    We have a lot of bougainvillae here. Some is "trained" into a shrub-like arrangement, and some is growing "free style" along our property walls and trees.

    We moved in last August; the property was empty for a couple of months at the hottest time of the year, so there was no watering or care. I noticed that inside the shrub-style bougainvillae there was like a mat of dead matter, almost. Like you I debated if I should try and remove it or just let it go. In the end I let it go. We have a gardener who comes by a couple times a week to help out, and he also has let it go. It has been, what, seven months now? The bougainvillae have grown out enough such that you can't really see the mat any more, if it is still there. I think eventually it will crumble and fall to the ground. It does not seem to have hurt anything.

    My very non-scientific, non-professional answer.

    Kate
     

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