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Nudge Your Bougainvillea Into Bloom

Nudge your potted bougainvillea into bloom with proper growing conditions and proper care. 

Grow these blooming beauties in full sun.  You’ll get the best flower display during the shorter days of early spring and early fall. Plus the cooler night temperatures of 60 degrees or cooler will also promote bloom.

Keep your bougainvillea potbound to further encourage bloom.  Repotting too soon results in lots of leaves and stems and delays flowering.  During the growing season, allow the plants to dry slightly before watering again. 

Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer with phosphorous, like Milorganite, to meet most of your plants season-long needs.  Or apply a soluble flowering plant fertilizer to moist soil once a month.

Prune away any unwanted growth throughout the summer.  And occasionally pinch out the growing tips to encourage more compact growth.  Wear gloves and long sleeves to minimize direct contact with the thorns.

A bit more information:  Start new plants from 4 to 6 inch long cuttings.  Stick the cut end into a moist well-drained potting mix or mix of peatmoss and perlite.  Roots should appear in 4 to 6 weeks.  Repot if needed in a slightly larger container.

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