Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 29, 2009

From: Blackfoot, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care for non-native bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Can I plant Bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID? I would like to plant it but am concerned about the harsh winter killing it off.

ANSWER:

Bougainvillea is a plant native to Brazil which will not survive the winter outdoors in Idaho, but can be grown sucessfully indoors under the right conditions.

According to the University of Saskatchewan Extension service Bougainvilleas demand a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight and bright indirect light at other times. Without good light they will not flower and they may lose their leaves. They do well in normal room temperature. This can be lower in winter but never below 10C.

Water moderately during their period of active growth (spring through fall), allowing the upper 2.5 cm (i in.) of soil to dry out between waterings but never the entire root ball. If they become too dry they will shed their leaves. They will need less water in winter and should have good drainage at all times.

Pot in a loam-based media with added peat moss. They can be repotted each spring up to a maximum of a 20 cm (8 in.) pot, after which they should be top dressed annually with the same type of potting mixture.

Fertilize them every 2 weeks during their period of active growth with a complete soluble houseplant fertilizer with micronutrients (such as 20-20-20). Follow the label directions.

Personal experience tells me that the trick to success with this plant indoors is a bright location which is cooler than room temperature in the wintertime (50's and 60's) but not below freezing.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Leaf color in non-native sago palms
January 24, 2009 - I have two sego palms planted in my front yard. Lots of sun. The fronds have turned a lime green color instead of the dark green color. Please help...(alkaline soil)
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant, Pachira aquatica
October 14, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just bought a miniature money tree. I would like to plant it on a metal like decorative pot. What advice would you give me how to prevent the plant from getting any metal re...
view the full question and answer

Rust spots on non-native red tip photinia
July 10, 2008 - I live in Oklahoma and my red tips have rust spots on leaves and some plants are losing leaves. This is a clay soil; can you give me any info. on how to solve this problem?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Pink Jasmine from Austin
March 23, 2011 - A week or so ago, I purchased two beautiful pink jasmine vines. The first few days after planting, they did wonderful. Now, some leaves and stems are turning brown and some flowers have fallen off. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native begonias and Texas summer
March 06, 2009 - I live in Austin, TX. I have two flower beds that each get plenty of sun during the day (8 to 10 hours in summer time). I love Begonias and was considering planting Begonias in my flowerbeds. Will ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.