Contact Us Host an Event 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

Tuesday - April 22, 2014

From: Mesa, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Help for a Transplanted Bougainvillea
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I recently planted a bougainvillea in our south-facing front yard. While planting it, we inadvertently severed a large portion of the root system from the plant. What, if anything, can we do to help the plant recover?

ANSWER:

Bougainvillea, although not a native plant, is a tough, drought-tolerant vine that grows well in the warmer and sunnier parts of the United States (hardiness zones 9 & 10). It has an interesting flower which is actually very small and white. The colorful paper "flowers" are really bracts and are showy for quite a long time. Bougainvillea can usually be found in pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white or yellow. For more details about the bougainvillea plant take a look at its wikipedia entry.

To help your newly transplanted bougainvillea survive its initial establishment period, a little extra protection would be helpful. Some suggestions are to build a temporary shelter to give it some protection from the sun, provide extra water (moist not wet though), apply an anti-desiccant spray to the leaves, and prune back 25-30% of the top growth.

Barbara Medford answered a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on handling transplant shock with a bougainvillea. Take a look at the question and her answer. She also included a good link to the Texas Plantanswers site about Growing Bougainvilleas.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problem with non-native Chocolate Silk Tree, Albizia julibrissin
June 09, 2009 - How do we get our Chocolate Silk Tree that once had redish brown leaves from now green to the original color? Thank You.
view the full question and answer

Yellow bands around edges of leaves in Whitney TX
July 20, 2009 - How can you tell whether esperanzas are getting too much water or not enough - ours have a small yellow band around the edges of the leaves - crape myrtles - same question
view the full question and answer

Will non-native Star Jasmine survive outside in winter in Ohio
October 27, 2008 - Hi! I have two Star Jasmine in pots (we brought them back to southern Ohio from CA this year). Should we bring them inside for the winter? Would they do okay outside next winter if we plant them in...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on women trying to conceive
July 10, 2005 - RE: Eucalyptus. Is this bad for women trying to conceive? The smell is very powerful.
view the full question and answer

Information about Lotus berthelotte, non-native plant
October 19, 2007 - I have a plant marker for a plant called LOTUS Berthlotti. I am looking for how to take care of it, but when I type the name in any search engine I get no results! the best way for me to describe th...
view the full question and answer

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