By Karen England
If you know the secret to planting bougainvillea
successfully, they can be easy, beautiful plants to
grow. Bougainvilleas hate to have their roots
disturbed in any way, so transplanting them can be the
most difficult part of getting them to grow.
The secret is to treat
the root ball of a bougainvillea gently, as if it were
a fine crystal goblet & you will be less likely to
bang and break the root ball. Plant bougainvillea by
cutting the bottom of the can off and setting the
plant (the sides of the can still attached) into the
prepared planting hole (a hole dug as deep as the can
and twice as wide). Slice down the remaining can and
unwrap from the root ball.
Back fill the hole with
an mixture of 50% “Bandini Azalea Gro-mix” (or a
planter’s mix of your choice) and 50% existing soil.
Water thoroughly and keep well watered until
established. Leave a staked bougainvillea tied to the
stake for two weeks before removing the stake &
training to a wall or fence and also wait two weeks
The true flower of the bougainvillea is really a
nondescript little thing and the surrounding bracts
are what are so colorful. Bougainvillea are available
in a wide range of colors, and a few have variegated
leaves. Choose from red, pink, orange, yellow, purple,
and white. Most bougainvilleas need support, however,
some varieties will become a sprawling shrub without
support, which is a particularly good ground covering
for a slope or bank.
Karen England is the "Queen of Edgehill Herb