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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Green and blooming plants are popular gifts for many special occasions. They bring life and sunshine into any home or office. Below are a few helpful tips to care for some of the more popular plants.
African Violets are lovely small plants, which may bloom at anytime. They prefer bright indirect sunlight and grow well under fluorescent light. Cut off the flowers after they die and provide good ventilation. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times and feed monthly spring through fall with a nitrogen-free fertilizer.
Areca Palms grow well indoors, in bright indirect sunlight and may be placed outdoors for the summer in an area of filtered light. Ensure that the plant has good drainage and keep it away from drafts. Never let the plant sit in water. Mist the fronds occasionally with warm water and feed monthly.
Azalea plants produce beautiful blooms February through May. They require specific care, such as good rich potting soil and full sunlight. Azaleas should be fed every two weeks during the growing season. Remove all dead flowers and keep the soil on the wet side.
The Boston Fern is the ideal hanging basket plant. It requires a little extra care in that it likes good, rich potting soil and should be misted frequently with warm water. Boston ferns grow well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil barely moist and feed weekly.
Bromeliads are beautiful, exotic plants requiring some extra care and attention. Bromeliads grow best indoors in bright indirect sunlight. Use good rich potting soil, keep the soil evenly moist and feed about every eight months. Bromeliads bloom April through June.
Croton plants require full sunlight and should be pinched back occasionally for good shape. Croton plants are poisonous and should not be kept around children. Keep the soil barely moist and feed every two weeks when young. Fertilize weekly after maturity.
Cyclamen have beautiful dark green foliage with unique “upside down” blooms that flower December through May. Cyclamen are dormant for the summer and should be repotted in late summer and kept cool. Stop watering in late spring and resume watering in late summer. Feed every two weeks while in growth. Bright indirect sunlight and evenly moist soil is best. Cyclamen are poisonous and should not be kept around children.
Diffenbachias are easy care plants with large leaves, making it an effective remover of indoor air pollutants. Diffenbachias are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Place this plant in bright indirect sunlight and let its soil become moderately dry between waterings.
Dracaena plants are easy to grow indoors in bright indirect sunlight. Good general purpose potting soil is fine and should be kept evenly moist. Leaf tips may turn brown if the plant is under-watered. Feed every two weeks.
Gardenias are wonderfully fragrant blooming plants, but generally require a little extra care and attention. Gardenias grow best inside the house with bright indirect sunlight. The plant requires good rich potting soil, kept evenly moist at all times. Mist the plant frequently with warm water, feed every two weeks and prune in early spring. Gardenias flower June through August.
Gerbera plants produce beautiful blooms July through September and are very easy to grow. They prefer full sunlight. Be careful the crown of the plant is above the soil and provide good drainage. Allow the soil to become moderately dry between waterings and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Hydrangeas are gorgeous blooming shrubs with showy color June through December. They require full sunlight and good, rich potting soil kept evenly moist. Prune the plant way back in early spring and feed every two weeks during growth with fertilizer suitable for acid loving plants.
Ivy plants are easy care leafy green plants perfect for hanging baskets. Ivy grows well in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist, mist occasionally with warm water and feed every two weeks during growth periods.
Kalanchoe are succulents and bloom January through July. Kalanchoe grow best indoors in full sunlight. Use good general purpose potting soil with a little added sand. Avoid getting water on the leaves, be careful not to over-water and feed only twice a year, once in April and once in July.
Norfolk Island Pines require a little extra care and attention. Bright indirect sunlight is best and over-watering must be avoided. Turn the plant occasionally to keep it symmetrical. If possible put the pine outside during the summer in bright light. Feed every two weeks and do not fertilize in the winter.
Orchids are exquisite blooming plants, requiring just a little extra care. Orchids grow well in bright indirect sunlight and may produce flowers at anytime. Avoid cold drafts. Most orchids have sphagnum moss potting mix and should be kept evenly moist. Be careful not to over-water. Feed every two weeks during the spring and summer with orchid fertilizer.
Peace Lilies are beautiful large-leafed plants, which produce white blooms April through October. They require full sunlight and should be placed away from drafts. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed every two weeks during the summer months only.
Philodendrons are easy care plants, which grow best indoors in bright indirect sunlight. This plant is a climber if given proper support. Philodendrons are poisonous if ingested. Do not keep around children. Keep this plant’s soil barely moist and feed it every two weeks when in growth.
Pothos are easy care climbing green plants. Pothos do well indoors in bright indirect sunlight, but will grow in rooms with less light as well. Keep this plant’s soil evenly moist and supply good drainage. Pothos is a good climber, if given proper support. Otherwise, pinch back to maintain its shape. Fertilize every two weeks.
Schefflera are beautiful, easy care leafy green plants. They grow well indoors in full sunlight. When watering, drench the soil and allow it to become moderately dry between waterings. Feed monthly spring through summer.
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.
The poinsettia likes moderately bright light, but they will tolerate low light for sometime. Water when the dirt or soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure all excess water drains from the pot or container. If the plant does not completely drain, the poinsettia will experience root rot. Poinsettia’s prefer temperatures, that are 60-70 degrees during the day and 60 – 65 degrees at night. Please avoid excessively cold or hot temps. To keep your poinsettia long-lasting, add fertilizer periodically.
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.
Rutgers: Flowers Boost Seniors’
Everyday, America’s aging population – 40 million and rising – faces the challenges of growing older, including depression, memory loss and social withdrawal. As a concerned nation, we are continually exploring new means to ease daily-life anxieties. Recently, researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, released the results of a six-month behavioral study on the health effects of flowers on senior citizens. The study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age.
“The results are significant because as our nation grows older and life becomes more stressful, we look for easy and natural ways to enhance our lives – and the lives of our aging parents,” said Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, professor of psychology and director of the Human Development Lab at Rutgers. “Now, one simple answer is right under our noses.”
This research follows a study conducted in 2000, which links flowers to greater happiness and life satisfaction in women. In 2001, Rutgers set out to explore the effects flowers would have on senior citizens, who experience different living situations and greater life changes.
Prevention in a Bud, Not a Bottle
More than 100 seniors participated in the Rutgers research study, in which some received flowers and others did not. The results shed new light on how nature’s support systems help seniors cope with the challenges of aging. The results are as follows:
- Flowers Decrease Depression. Study participants showed a significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present.
- Flowers Refresh Recent Memory. Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.
- Flowers Encourage Companionship. Seniors who received flowers re-engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel.
“Instinct tells us that flowers lift our spirits, but, their effects on seniors are especially profound, if not surprising,” said Haviland-Jones.
New Evidence Sprouts Up
Specifically, 81 percent of seniors who participated in the study reported a reduction in depression following the receipt of flowers. Forty percent of seniors reported broadening their social contacts beyond their normal social circle of family and close friends. And, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.
“Happier people live longer, healthier lives and are more open to change,” said Haviland-Jones. “Our research shows that a small dose of nature, like flowers, can do a world of wonder for our well-being as we age.”
Studies are showing more and more that flowers do have an emotional impact on human’s. Flowers do more than look pretty. Visit www.aboutflowers.com to learn more.
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!
Flowers have a significant impact on feelings and emotions. According to studies by Rutgers University:
A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
- Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
- Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
- Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being.”
The study also explored where in their homes people display flowers. The arrangements were placed in areas of the home that are open to visitors – such as foyers, living rooms and dining rooms – suggesting that flowers are a symbol for sharing.
“Flowers bring about positive emotional feelings in those who enter a room,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “They make the space more welcoming and create a sharing atmosphere.”
Want to learn more? Visit www.aboutflowers.com