Bougainvillea are tropical plants generally grown for their brilliant and generous flowers. These plants thrive outdoors in warm temperatures and direct sun as long as they get adequate irrigation. If your bougainvillea blooms are falling off, the odds are that the plant is not getting one of these critical elements. Blossoms also suffer from frost. Read on to learn more details about why flowers drop off bougainvillea plants.
What Leads to Bougainvillea Flower Drop?
Like every other plant, bougainvillea has particular growing needs that must be met if it is to bloom and grow happily. You may not get long-lasting blossoms if you fail to meet them.
Bougainvilleas require warm weather. Bougainvillea flower drop can be caused by temperatures that are lower than those the plant is used to. Generally, bougainvillea plants are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and above. However, if a young plant has been raised in a warm, humid climate or a greenhouse, bougainvillea flower drop can happen even in Zone 9.
Other Reasons Flowers Fall off Bougainvillea
In addition to warmth, bougainvillea requires a bright, sunny growing location. One of the primary causes that flowers drop off bougainvillea is low light levels. Try to meet or beat the light levels of the garden store where you purchased the plant.
When bougainvillea blooms are falling off your plant, check your irrigation. Although bougainvilleas tolerate brief dry periods, the vine requires regular water in order to bloom since it goes through water quickly. Don’t let that soil dry out completely or you may see your bougainvillea losing blooms.
Another possible cause of bougainvillea flower drop is exposure to ethylene, a gas produced by ripe fruits and barbecue pits. Chlorine from pools is also a potential problem.
Caring for Non-Flowering Bougainvillea Vines
If your bougainvillea loses blooms during the growing season, take heart. Bougainvillea is a tough specimen and lives for decades. It produces flushes of flowers throughout the growing season as long as it gets appropriate care and conditions.
Adjusting cultural practices should take care of the flower-drop problem. When you irrigate, soak the soil thoroughly and then allow it to dry out before irrigating again. If your climate is too cold for the plant, transplant it to a pot and move it indoors during cold periods.
You can also trim back your bougainvillea to encourage new growth. Prune it back by up to 50% if you prefer a compact plant, or less if you want a bigger one. Use a general purpose plant food 20-10-20, following label directions.