Posted on Dec 10, 2023 at 6:02 am by Oliver C
Bougainvillea is a Mediterranean climbing plant with abundant and brightly colored flowers. Although this beautiful shrub is generally easy to maintain, some precautions are necessary to keep your bougainvillea healthy during the winter.
Here is everything you need to know about watering bougainvillea in winter.
Table of Contents
The different types of bougainvillea and their cold resistance
- Bougainvillea spectabilis: Variety with white, purple, or orange flowers.
- Bougainvillea glabra: Sanderiana is a particularly widespread variety.
All species of bougainvillea are sensitive to frost. Growing them in open ground can only be done in Mediterranean regions or along the Atlantic coast where winters are milder. In other regions, bougainvillea should be grown in large pots and protected from frost during the cold season.
Preparing bougainvillea for winter
Generally, bougainvillea should be sheltered before the first autumn frosts. The combination of cold and humidity can significantly weaken the plant.
Here’s how to protect your bougainvillea:
In open ground
- Mulching: Cover the base of the plant with a thick layer of mulch at least 10 centimeters thick. This insulating protection will preserve the roots and soil from cold and frost. Additionally, to keep your plants in good shape this winter, consider using onion peels as natural mulch.
- At the end of winter, remember to remove the winter protection and mulch.
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- Choose a warmer place to spend the winter, such as a well-heated greenhouse or conservatory. A garage or cellar will not be warm enough for bougainvillea, which prefers a more temperate living space.
- Remember to bring the plant indoors a few weeks before the first frost to ensure it is well protected from the cold.
Watering bougainvillea in winter
Bougainvillea prefers dry soils. Therefore, at the end of flowering, it is important to space out watering for at least a month, allowing the surface of the soil to dry between each watering. To determine if the plant needs water, touch the soil and water if it is dry; otherwise, wait another day or two.
Choosing the right substrate
In addition to appropriate watering, bougainvillea needs a good substrate to thrive. For this, opt for:
- High-quality potting soil
- Organic garden soil
- Regularly applied liquid fertilizer, specific to flowering shrubs
Bougainvillea is a beautiful plant but sensitive to cold and requiring special care in winter. To keep your bougainvillea healthy during this period, remember to implement adequate protections (mulching, indoor shelter), adjust watering, and provide a good substrate.