Friday, March 14, 2008

Beautiful Bougainvillea

I'm going to be away from a computer for this month's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - so I thought I would make an early post with just one bloomin' thing. This sprawling woody vine puts on a colorful show whereever it grows! Discovered in the late 18th century,Bougainvillea is a South American native. It has small white tubular flowers, surrounded by 3 large paper-like bracts. Much like the poinsettia, its bracts are the showy part of a bougainvillea. There is even a variety with double blooms (or bracts) - that one tends to be more compact and, as a bonus, has no thorns! Bougainvillea flourishes in zones 9 - 11. I always thought that hot weather made it bloom more - but a grower told me that it is the short days of winter that spur the bloom. Bougainvillea doesn't like wet feet so be sure to plant her in well drained soil. Although she prefers a nice loamy soil (don't we all!), she adapts pretty well to heavier clays. Disease-wise, there isn't much that bothers bougainvillea. Occasionally, I will go out to find something munching on mine, but within a few days new leaves have filled in the bare spots. This one seems to take care of herself~

7 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

A bougainvillea in bloom on your hacienda-style house is a Bloom Day winner in my book.

Vanillalotus said...

Gorgeous. That looks wonderful! I believe mine died over the short winter. I didn't have anywhere to put my large pot inside so I just hoped for the best. I'm in zone 8b and it doesn't look like it made it.

lintys said...

How beautiful! I first saw bougainvilleas many years ago on a trip to Mexico and fell in love with them. Now that I have a grow light to overwinter my growing collection of tropicals, I might try a potted one this year.

Melanie said...

When visiting my Mom in Florida we love to go for long walks. Bougainvillea is one of my favorite things to see while I'm there. They are just so incredibly beautiful.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is so pretty on the white brick!

Katarina i Kullavik said...

I just love bougainvilleas!
/Katarina (Roses and stuff)

Mary Beth said...

Pam & Robin - I agree that bougainvillea is a good match for Spanish style homes - and a pretty contrasts to the white brick.

Vanillalotus - So sorry that yours died this winter - It's been so long since we've had any really cold weather that I haven't had any trouble with mine. Even a Christmas Eve snow in 2004 didn't harm mine.

Lintys - If you like the bougainvillea in Mexico, you should see them in Hawaii! It must be the additional rain that they love there!

Melanie & Katarina, So glad you like my bougainvillea! Its easy and gorgeous!