Bougainvillea does best with regular watering using the soak-and-dry method.
Water Bougainvillea plants thoroughly, allowing the water to run through the plants’ potting soil and out the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Water again when the soil begins to feel dry.
This is a tropical plant that does best in temperate regions. It likes heat in the summer months and mild winters.
Never allow Bougainvillea to stand in water, as this causes root rots.
Related: Check Out our article on Bougainvillea Care
- Tips On Bougainvillea Watering
- Small Bougainvillea
- Never Let The Dry Out Soil Completely
- Consider The Plant’s Age
- When Planting Bougainvillea Outdoors
- Never Allow Bougainvillea Plants To Stand In Water
- Do Not Water A Liitte
- Use The Right Soil Type
- Don’t Use Cold Water On Bougainvillea
- Adjust Watering By Season
- Use Rainwater If Possible
- Do Not Go Underwater Bougainvillea
- If You Overwater Bougainvillea…
Tips On Bougainvillea Watering
When your Bougainvillea is small or right after repotting, maintain soil moisture. Once established, these plants are quite drought-resistant. Water them when the soil looks and feels somewhat dry.
The vine actually blooms more when its roots are slightly crowded, so putting bougainvillea in a pot turns it into a flowering machine.
Make sure the pot of bougainvillea is in full sun and actually performs better when the soil is left a little dry, making this a perfect plant for the drought-tolerant landscape.
Use a water-soluble fertilizer or plant food mixed at half strength to keep the flowers coming.
Bougainvillea in pots is a heavy feeder that requires regular fertilization to produce blooms throughout the growing season.
The bloom cycle is seasonal, with plants blooming after the dry season or after a cool spell, which may trigger plants to bloom.
Never Let The Dry Out Soil Completely
Never allow your Bougainvillea soil to dry out completely or the plant to wilt. This condition is stressful and will cause the plant to begin dropping leaves and bracts.
You could also mound up a 4″ layer of compost around the base to protect the young surface roots.
Consider The Plant’s Age
Consider your plant’s age and size when deciding how much and how often to water it. Also, consider your local climate, weather, and the condition of your soil mixture.
You can also train them as a shrub or hedge if you prefer to keep their size smaller.
Prune your plant throughout the year, but especially in the late winter before the new growth cycle.
When Planting Bougainvillea Outdoors
If planting your Bougainvillea into the landscape, choose an elevated setting with well-drained loamy soil so the water will run through the soil easily.
Never Allow Bougainvillea Plants To Stand In Water
Never allow your Bougainvillea to stand in water. It may cause root rot and loss of bracts. A waterlogged Bougainvillea may stop blooming.
Related: Tips on Growing Bougainvillea in Florida
Do Not Water A Liitte
Don’t water often in small amounts. This type of watering produces a shallow root system weak and negatively impacts bloom color. They grow in beautiful shades of light pink with a white center and are perfect for hanging baskets during the summertime.
Water generously, soak the root ball and pour off any excess water that may gather in your plants’ drainage dish.
Use The Right Soil Type
To avoid root rot, use a soil-less potting mix for Bougainvillea. This mix should be a light well-draining soil with water-retaining ingredients, such as peat moss. Instead, it should consist mostly of components like coarse perlite, coco coir, and pine bark.
Don’t Use Cold Water On Bougainvillea
Water with lukewarm or room temperature water to avoid shocking the roots.
Adjust Watering By Season
Adjust watering according to the season. Reduce watering during the chilly winter months when the plant is semi-dormant.
Your Bougainvillea will need more water during the warmer months – the growing season – when the weather is warm and dry. This is when the plant produces lots of blooms and foliage.
Too much water will give you lots of green growth and fewer flowers. Keep it dry. Cold is a problem.
Related: Tips On Bougainvillea Fertilizer
Use Rainwater If Possible
For best results, use rainwater or filtered water. If you cannot do this, allow tap water to stand overnight so that chemicals will dissipate somewhat before watering your plants.
Do Not Go Underwater Bougainvillea
If you underwater your plant, you will notice wilting, stunted growth, loss of leaves, and even dry, crispy leaves. If this happens:
- Give your plant a good soak
- Trim away dead and damaged foliage and blooms
- Place the plant on a pebble tray with water to create a more humid atmosphere. Be sure the bottom of the plant’s container is not touching the surface of the water.
Related: Watering POTTED Bougainvillea Plants
If You Overwater Bougainvillea…
If you overwater your plants, you will notice a loss of flowers and buds, yellowed leaves, and rotting lower leaves. If it goes on too long, you’ll also find that your plant is experiencing root rot. Bougainvillea does not like wet feet.
If this happens:
- Prune away damaged foliage and blooms
- Stop watering and allow the planting mix to dry somewhat before you begin watering again
Pruning is important not only for shape but for strength as well since bougainvillea tend to grow outward without creating branches unless their stems are pruned.
If root rot has set in, you may need to report it. When you do so, prune away any damaged roots. Moreover, they should be pruned in the early spring or later winter after they flower, or at the beginning of the rainy season.
Help an overwatered plant recover by improving air circulation around it and increasing its direct sunlight exposure.