Bougainvilleas


July is a great month for planting Bougainvilleas in a frost protected area. They are typically in full bloom through summer – Bougainvilleas can color up an arbor or trellis, or function as a rambling ground cover.

Vibrant colors come from the three large bracts that surround small inconspicuous flower. Frequent pinching keeps new growth compact so the color almost covers the leaves

Location

In our area, protect bougainvilleas from frost by planting them against a warm south or west-facing wall. Tenting with Dewitt Frost Protection Fabric and decorating with Christmas tree lights on cold nights adds extra protection. It is a vigorous grower and will bloom continuously all summer long and is very drought tolerant once established.

Planting

Plant them with caution! Their roots don’t form a tight ball and can be damaged if you remove them from the can in the usual fashion. It’s better to cut away the bottom of the can with a utility knife. Then slip a heavy duty rubber band or twine around the can. Leaving this intact, make 2-3 slices down the side of the can. Support the bottom with your hand, and gently place the pot in the hole. Backfill the hole and then slip the can out of the ground.