Bougainvillea Care

Bougainvilleas are perhaps the most popular and one of the most widely grown tropical vines.

A native to the coast of Brazil. In the 1760′s the French botanist Philibert Commerson discovered the colorful vining plant and named it bouganvillea after his friend and captain, Louis A. de Bougainville, a noted lawyer, mathematician, and explorer from Canada.

The Bougainvillea often has spiny, cascading stems which end with colorful bracts of red, orange, purple and other shades to shield small white, inconspicuous flowers.

Bougainvillea can be used in a multitude of ways:

Cultural Requirements

Water and Soil

Bougainvillea will thrive in almost any soil as long as it is well-drained and fertile. Soils that work for other plants you grow will be fine for your bougainvillea.

Growers use a soil media that drains well but make sure you don’t let the plants dry out between waterings. If you want to be successful with bougainvillea keep containers moist but also they need to be well drained. No sitting plants in standing water!

DO NOT USE SAUCERS under your bougainvillea pots.

A healthy bougainvillea in a container will drink a lot of water during the warm times of the year. In cooler periods or when you bring your bougainvillea indoors for the winter, the water requirement will be much less.

SO how much water does a Bougainviilea need for proper plant care and blooming. As always it depends on:

  • Soil type
  • Root system
  • Size of the plant
  • Air temperature

Don’t water just to water your plants. Inspect your plants regularly, and learn when they are close to wilting. Then give the plant a good, thorough soaking just before it reaches the wilt stage.

Remember during the summer heat plants will use up water quickly, so inspect often.

Light

For the best results put your bougainvilleas in full sun. If you want good blooming give them at least 5 hours a day of full sunlight as a minimum. More hours of direct sun is better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well. Your plants will thrive in shade or partial shade, but only have nice growth with little or no blooms.

Don’t expect your bougainvillea to flower indoors. If possible, keep your plant outdoors and give it the maximum sun exposure. Any flowering you may receive indoors is a bonus.

Temperature

Bougainvilleas are hardy throughout the South but young growth will be damaged by frost. Optimum growing temperatures are warm days (70-85of) and cool nights(60-70of).

A light frost will not kill the plant, but you can soon expect all the leaves and bracts to fall off. In this case, the plant will regrow if not subjected to more frosts for longer duration.

Fertilizer

Bougainvillea can be heavy feeders. Here is some quick fertilizer tips.

  • High phosphorus with micronutrients, as well as additional iron and magnesium
  • Slow or timed release fertilizers are acceptable. Make sure you follow the fertilizer label
  • Plants grow best with small amounts of nutrients constantly available
  • Do not apply fertilizers to dry soil – Do not overfertilize – in this case less is better than more

Pests

//

Caterpillars, mites, aphids; Leaf spot if foliage and/or soil stays too wet, especially in cool weather. Contact your local nursery or garden center for treating the pest. Make sure you READ AND FOLLOW the label.

Where and How to use Bougainvillea

  • Hanging baskets
  • 1 to 3 gallon pots either sheared as bush, staked, or trellised.
  • Trained as a tree – standard
  • Summer annual up North.
  • In the South grown as groundcover, hedge, trellis, standard, or cascading planter plant.

What to Expect From Bougainvillea when it arrives at the Garden Center

Bougainvilleas aren’t fond of changes. Any shipping over 2 days and you may experience some leaf drop and possible total defoliation. Don’t worry, give the plants a good drink and they’ll come right back out in about 3 to 4 weeks and usually full of flowers.

Plantcare.com

Make em last longer!

Two of the top questions Americans ask when purchasing flowers are “How do I take care of them?” and “How long will they last?
From a single bud, to a small bunch to an abundant arrangement, just a little extra care can make a big difference. Most floral arrangements last from 4 to 7 days, depending on the types of flowers used and the type of care they receive. Here’s some specific tips to keep your flowers looking beautiful:

For floral arrangements… Keep the vase filled or floral foam soaked with water containing a flower food. If the flower food solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. If possible, recut stems by removing one to two inches with a sharp knife. Use warm water when adding water to the vase or refilling it.

Keep flowers in a cool spot (65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit), away from direct sunlight. Avoid heating or cooling vents, areas directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators. Appliances such as televisions and radiators give off heat, causing the flowers to quickly dehydrate.

For boxed flowers or loose wrapped bunches… If you can’t get your flowers into a water and flower food solution right away, keep them in a cool place. Fill a clean, deep vase with water and add the flower food, following the directions on the package.

For all arrangements… Remove any leaves that will be below the waterline. Leaves in the water will promote bacterial growth, causing the flowers to wilt quickly.

Recut stems with a sharp knife. Do this underwater, in warm water. This allows the stems to draw in water instead of air. Then place the flowers in the vase solution you’ve prepared. When using woody stems and branches (such as forsythia, quince or lilac), cut the stem with sharp pruning shears.

Liatris – What’s that all about?

 

 Also Known as:  Gay Feather, Blazing Star

Availability: Year round

 Lasting Power:The fresh cut flower is able to last seven (7) to ten (10) days.

 Family Relations: In the Compositae family, this along with  corn flower, chrysanthemums, asters and zinnias.

 Description: Unusual looking, most blossom stems open from the bottom to the top of the spike. This flower blooms from top to the bottom. It is advisable to avoid buying the flower which the blossom already three-quarters.

Arrangement of Flower:  Most use liatris for what is referred to as line flowers in arrangements.  These flowers are suitable for drying.

Not Your Everyday Arrangement!

Looking something different to send to your friend or loved one?  Mixed spring arrangements are always a great choice, but what if you want something a little different?  Why not try a BHF Lilies and Lemons arrangement? 

This arrangement will surely delight the recipient.  Heighten the senses and make them smile!

Easter Lily

THE EASTER LILY HOLIDAY TRADITION

Each holiday is marked by cherished traditions that bring joy, comfort, and warmth, and provide continuity from one generation to the next. Easter has its share of traditions: egg decorations and hunts; gift baskets and chocolate bunnies, sunrise church services, parades, and, of course, the Easter Lily. For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life – the spiritual essence of Easter.

History, mythology, literature, poetry and the world of art are rife with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. Dating back to Biblical lore, the lily is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the most famous Biblical references is in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ told his listeners: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet….. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that the beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress. Churches continue this tradition at Easter time by banking their alters and surrounding their crosses with masses of Easter Lilies, to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and hope of life everlasting.

Since the beginning of time, lilies have played significant roles in allegorical tales concerning the sacrament of motherhood. Ancient fables tell us the lily sprang from the milk of Hera, the mythological Queen of Heaven.

The pure white lily has long been closely associated with the Virgin Mary. In early paintings, the Angel Gabriel is pictured extending to the Virgin Mary a branch of pure white lilies, announcing that she is to be the mother of the Christ Child. In other paintings, saints are pictured bringing vases full of white lilies to Mary and the infant Jesus.

The legend is told that when the Virgin Mary’s tomb was visited three days after her burial, it was found empty save for bunches of majestic white lilies. Early writers and artists made the lily the emblem of the Annunciation, the Resurrection of the Virgin: the pure white petals signifying her spotless body and the golden anthers her soul glowing with heavenly light.

It seems the thirteenth-century Barthololmeus Anglicus had this in mind when he wrote: ‘The Lily is an herbe with a white flower; and though the leaves of the floure be white, yet within shineth the likeness of gold.” So goes the saying, ‘To gild a lily is to attempt, foolishly, to improve on perfection.” To many artists and poets it seemed that, if any flower could have one, the lily had a soul.

In yet another expression of womanhood, lilies had a significant presence in the paradise of Adam and Eve. Tradition has it that when Eve left the Garden of Eden she shed real tears of repentance, and from those remorseful tears sprung up lilies. The spiritual principle held here is that true repentance is the beginning of beauty.

A mark of purity and grace throughout the ages, the regal white lily is a fitting symbol of the greater meaning of Easter. Gracing millions of homes and churches, the flowers embody joy, hope and life. Whether given as a gift or enjoyed in your own home, the Easter Lily serves as a beautiful reminder that Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating.

The following poem by Louise Lewin Matthews captures the spiritual essence of the Easter Lily:

Easter morn with lilies fair
Fills the church with perfumes rare,
As their clouds of incense rise,
Sweetest offerings to the skies.
Stately lilies pure and white
Flooding darkness with their light,
Bloom and sorrow drifts away,
On this holy hallow’d day.
Easter Lilies bending low
in the golden afterglow,
Bear a message from the sod
To the heavenly towers of God.

-Louise Lewin Matthews

Written and posted by http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/lily/lily.html

Valentine’s Day

No!  We didn’t invent this day!  It was created long before Billy Heroman’s came along.  

The event was named a long time ago, after two Early Christian martyrs. Their last name’s were Valentine.   The Day became related to love, and feelings of romance thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer, in the later middle ages.  

Now, the day is associated with the giving of  gifts, that express feelings of love.  Such examples include the heart-shaped outlines, doves, the winged Cupid, roses, chocolates, cards, etc.  Order Early for Valentine’s Day, and make it a week long event for you and your loved one….