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.
Never allow Bougainvillea to stand in water as this causes root rots.
Check Out our article on Bougainvillea Care
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.
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.
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.
When Planting Bougainvillea Outdoors
If planting your Bougainvillea into the landscape, choose an elevated setting with a 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. 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.
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 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.
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
If root rot has set in, you may need to repot. When you do so, prune away any damaged roots.
Help an overwatered plant recover by improving air circulation around it and increasing its sun exposure.