Named after a Frenchman Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811). Though Bougainvilleas are normally climbers they can be trained to keep bushy indoors. Bougainvilleas have glossy deep green leaves and in Summer it blooms plenty of brightly coloured bracts. The actual flower is in the center of the bracts.
Water moderately when it is actively growing, giving enough water to moisten the mixture thoroughly.
In early Spring begin to fertilize with standard liquid fertilizer as soon as growth starts and continue once every 2 weeks throughout the following period.
In early Spring move young plants into pot one size larger. Older plants growing in pots maximum convenient pot size around 8 inches should be top-dressed with fresh soil-based potting mixture.
Propagate from cuttings 6 inches long may be taken in Spring. After dipping the cut ends into rooting powder, insert cuttings in moistened equal parts of soil-based potting mixture and coarse sand or perlite. Place them in a heated propagator in bright filtered light. Roots will form in 8 weeks, after which plants can be re-potted in standard mixture.
Young plants can be kept bushy and compact by snipping off the tips of the stems when they are 15 cms long and also in a large pot it can be restrained to 4 or 5 feet height. It is best grown in a floor standing pot placed near a large window.
Bougainvillea may grow up to 6 feet in one season, at least a third of the season's growth should be cut away in early Spring.
Care should be taken as the stems can produce sharp spines.
In order to bloom, Bougainvilleas need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight everyday when they are in active growth. In Winter rest period they should be kept cool. Aphids and mealybugs are strongly attracted to Bougainvilleas so make regular checks for them.
Bougainvilleas are ideal for sunny windowsill or conservatory.
Spray twice weekly when flower buds appear until flowers fade. Do not spray flowers. Stand pot in saucer of pebbles almost covered in water.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.