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Tuesday - April 22, 2014

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


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?


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.


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