Check out all the information you need on How to Grow Bougainvillea in Pots and add this beautiful flower to your plant collection!
Coming in an array of white, pink, red, and orange shades, bougainvillea flowers add a burst of colors year-round in the tropical climate of India. This vining plant features woody branches and colorful bracts that look simply beautiful. If you want to grow it in a small space, then here’s all you need to know on How to Grow Bougainvillea in Pots!
Have a look at the list of impossible to kill plants in India here
How to Propogate Bougainvillea?
You can either purchase a sapling from a local nursery or propagate the plant with stem cutting.
- During spring or summer, look for any softwood stem in the bougainvillea plant. Softwood branch is not very fresh, nor very woody but can break easily if bent.
- Snip off 6-8 inches of softwood cutting using a sanitized shear and remove the lower leaves if any. The cutting must have 3-5 nodes or buds.
- Fill a small pot with a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Plant the cutting in it without applying any rooting hormone, as the softwood cutting does not require it.
- Spray water on the soil using a sprayer well.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag to retain enough moisture and place the pot in a bright place. Make sure that the growing medium is never dry.
- After 2-3 months, the cutting would develop a new set of leaves.
Choosing a Container
You can start with a 10-14 inches deep container, and re-pot it a couple of years later in the larger one. However, bougainvillea plant likes to be slightly root bound, but ensure to re-pot it every 2 years as the roots start overcrowding. Go for terracotta or ceramic pots with a glazed surface to keep the roots cooler during harsh Indian summers.
Best Bougainvillea Varieties for Pots
Choose a Bougainvillea variety with bushy or compact growth for pots. The plant may still require some pruning to keep its size and shape in check. You can go for dwarf varieties like Helen Johnson(pink), Rosenka(pink), Miss Alice(white), Singapore pink (pink), Crimson Jewel(red), La Jolla (red).
Growing Requirements for Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea loves well-draining and porous medium. A mixture of loamy soil well amended with organic compost is the appropriate choice. You can also use a mix of 3 parts of regular potting soil and 1 part of succulent and cactus mix.
Remember that the soil shouldn’t contain a high amount of peat moss, as it increases the water retentiveness.
If you want the plant to flower well, then keep it at any place where it can avail a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. More sunshine leads to more blooming, but less light will cause fewer or no blooms.
For indoors, keeping it near a west or south-facing window will be an apt choice.
Keep the soil consistently moist until the plant is established. Once set, check if the topsoil feels dry to touch then water it deeply until it starts coming out of the drainage holes. You may have to water the potted bougainvillea frequently during the growing period, flowering, and warm summery days.
Bougainvillea is a hardy tropical plant that performs well in the wide temperature range of 5-28 C.
Bougainvillea Container Care
Pruning is essential to keep its size in check and promote fresh growth. You can prune the plant at any time of the year, but the best time is right after the flush of blooms. Trim the branches to half of their length using a sanitized shear or scissor.
Bougainvilleas are heavy feeders, so you can either apply a weak liquid balanced fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing period. Use a slow-release fertilizer occasionally in early summer when the plant is established. Do not feed the plant in winters.
Train the plant to grow upwards with the help of support. You can support this vining plant in pots using stakes, fences, or walls.
Pests and Diseases
Bougainvillea in pots hardly catches any pests if kept in a sunny spot with fair ventilation. Yet, the plant can be prone to mealy bugs, mildew, and aphids attacks. You can treat them by rubbing a cotton ball dipped in insecticidal or neem oil solution.