(15 Culprits) Why Is My Bougainvillea Not Growing + Fixes

Bougainvillea is a common houseplant, and it is crucial to maintain. If your Bougainvillea is not thriving, it may be due to several reasons. Learn about them!

With its fuchsia blooms, the Bougainvillea is a pretty common houseplant that people love to grow. However, it is quite sensitive, and many factors can affect growth.

So here, learn all about the reasons why your Bougainvillea is not growing to avoid making the same mistakes.

Origin of Bougainvillea

Plants known as Bougainvillea are indigenous to Southern America, especially in the countries of Brazil, Peru, and Argentina.

They were given that name in honor of Louis Antoine de Bougainville, a French adventurer who discovered the plant in Brazil during his exploration of the globe in the 18th century.

Due to their vivid colors and resilience, bougainvillea plants soon gained popularity as decorative plants after being initially brought to North America in the late 19th century.

They are currently commonly grown throughout many tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

Reasons Why Bougainvillea Is Not Growing

There are multiple reasons why your Bougainvillea is not growing, and they are somewhat related to the care you provide or the atmosphere around these plants.

Here, learn about the reasons for this issue and how to cater to them.

Top Reasons Why Bougainvillea Is Not Thriving

1. Pest Infestations Stunt The Growth of Bougainville Vines

Mealybugs, as well as spider mites, hinder Bougainvillea plants the most commonly. When there is a bug infestation, the damaged areas of a plant turn brown.

Under a microscope, spider mites also create visible webs and deposit visible larvae. The bugs are easy to see because of their reddish tint.

How do I cure this problem?

How do you treat an infestation of bugs?

Start by removing the ill plants from close proximity to the healthy plants because the infection usually travels to the plants with much more nutritional content.

Afterward, cut away the diseased plants’ injured and dead areas.

After that, spray a small area of the plant with a pesticide or anti-mite solution; if no adverse effects are noticed while being observed, spray the entire plant.

If you live in an area with a lot of pest issues, you can put neem oil on plants to keep insects away. Repeat this process a few more times to get rid of all the pests. It is safe to use neem oil, a naturally generated extract from the neem tree, among beneficial insects like bees.

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The brown spots are bigger, and there is a clear distinction between fungal infections and them in terms of the yellow bands that surround them.

The fungus infection would be treated with a fungicide or any DIY cure using castile soap or baking soda. The fungus may not be entirely eliminated by the natural treatment, but it can be prevented from spreading.

2. Salts In The Soil Stunt The Bougainvillea

If you irrigate your Bougainvillea with mineral salt-rich water, salts will eventually build up in the soil.

Yet, there are numerous locations in which the tap water is highly salty, which can eventually stunt and cause Bougainvillea to sag.

How do I cure this?

The Bougainvillea vine should be occasionally given a warm bath and then soaked in lukewarm water for five to ten minutes.

This will help to avoid salt buildup. The plant is going to be neutralized after being drained so that all the salt is released into the water.

About once every couple of months, a vigorous shower may assist with washing the Bougainvillea leaves’ surface and enhance airflow.

3. Root Rot

The fungus disease known as root rot can harm bougainvillea plants, especially if the soil is overly damp or inadequately drained.

The plant’s entire body may eventually perish if the fungus continues to assault its roots, which rot and die as a result.

Signs of root rot include yellowing or drooping leaves, decreased growth, and a general decline in the plant’s health.

Plants that have low soil drainage can become root bound, and on top of it, if you waterlog the precious plant, it will stop growing at all. You may not witness it early, but the roots will start to change color to black.

How To Cure This Issue?

Allowing the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings will help Bougainvillea plants thrive, which prefer to be maintained on the drier side.

Avoid leaving the plant in a moist or constantly-damp environment. It’s critical to act fast to rescue your bougainvillea plant if you fear it may have root rot.

Cut away any decaying or dead roots, and get rid of any damaged plant pieces. Replant the plant in new, drained soil, and wait to hydrate it until the potting mix is totally dry before repeating.

If the damage is extensive, you might need to treat the plant with a fungicide, but make sure to read the directions carefully before applying the solution as recommended.

4. Dormancy Period of Bougainvillea

Flowers of the genus Bougainvillea are prone to periods of dormancy, especially in the winter. The plant can cease developing or lose its foliage during this period.

This is a typical phase of the plant’s growth cycle, and once the temperature warms up, it will begin to grow once more.

5. Cold Resistance and Light Issues

Bougainvillea is tropical in nature; hence, it cannot survive in areas with lower temperatures than 40 F.

If you have planted it in the winter outside and the temperature drops from this range, then your Bougainvillea vine will not grow.

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The best idea to ensure the propagation of the vine is to plant it as an indoor plant. The Bougainvillea needs extreme light exposure, so make sure you plant it in the direction of sunlight.

6. Dehydration of Bougainvillea

Verify that your Bougainvillea plant is not dried out or underwater. Always hydrate once the top two inches of the topsoil feel parched, and follow a regular schedule.

How To Cure This?

If you accidentally allow the topsoil of the Bougainvillea plant to dry out entirely, you will see drooping stems or foliage that has begun to crisp up.

If the topsoil is extremely dry throughout the entire pot, a full soak is required.

7. Inadequate Amount of Light

Bougainvillaeas require direct sunlight in order to flourish.

The solution is to reposition your plant so that it is exposed to direct sunlight for a minimum of six hours every day. When cultivating plants inside, it is important to use grow lights.

8. An Absence of Regular Pruning

Pruning at regular intervals encourages new growth and blooming.

To correct this, prune back overgrown branches and remove spent flower heads to stimulate new growth.

9. Inappropriate Use of Fertiliser

In order to blossom, these plants require certain nutrients.

Use a slow-release balanced fertilizer with a composition like 14-14-14. This will fix the problem.

Steer clear of high-nitrogen mixtures since they encourage the development of leafy growth rather than blossoms.

10. Infestations Caused by Pests

Insects such as aphids and caterpillars can be detrimental to a plant’s development.

Examine the plant on a regular basis for any signs of pests. When necessary, you can use insecticidal soaps or natural repellents.

11. The depth of the planting

The plant may experience stress if it is planted too deeply.

Make sure that the root ball of the bougainvillea is placed so that it is just at or slightly above the surface of the soil after it is finished growing.

12. the State of the Soil

Growth can be stunted by poor soil.

Bougainvillaeas thrive best on soil that is slightly acidic to neutral in pH and has adequate drainage.

If the soil contains a lot of clay or is very sandy, you should probably repot the plant using an appropriate potting mix.

13. The Atmosphere and Its Temperature

These plants are native to tropical regions and cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

If you live in a location that has harsh winters, you need to take precautions to prevent frost damage to your bougainvillea.

During periods of extreme cold, you should either bring potted plants inside or cover them.

14. Shock After a Transplant

Moving a plant may be stressful for the plant.

Fix: If you’ve just moved your Bougainvillaea or repotted it, allow it some time to acclimatize before trying to move it again.

Ensure that it is located in a favorable setting in light of the variables that were discussed before.

15. excessive water

Bougainvillaeas do well in conditions that are marginally on the drier side.

Remedy: Do not water until the top inch of the soil has become completely dry. Make sure that your container has adequate drainage to prevent root rot from occurring.

How To Care For Your Bougainvillea Vines?

The lovely flowering plant known as Bougainvillea is also quite simple to maintain. Here is some advice on how to take care of Bougainvillea:

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1. Sunlight

To thrive, bougainvillea plants require full sun exposure for at least six hours each day. Although they may grow in some shade, they will have fewer flowers.

2. Watering

Bougainvillea plants enjoy a somewhat drier environment, so let the soil get a little arid in between waterings.

Watch out for overwatering vs. underwatering, as it’s a thin line.

Rotting roots can result from overirrigation. And though, you might need to hydrate them more often when it’s hot and dry.

3. Fertilizing

Bougainvillea plants require frequent fertilization in order to produce blossoms. Throughout the planting season, apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer every two weeks (spring and summer).

4. Trimming

Furthermore, Bougainvillea plants must be regularly pruned in order to keep their shape and encourage flowering. After each flowering cycle, prune the plant to remove about a third of its growth.

5. Soil Check

Such plants thrive really well in soil that is well draining and has a pH between 5.5 and 6.0. If the soil mix is saturated, amend it using sand, perlite, or peat moss to enhance drainage.

6. Pest control

Watch for any signs of infestation and treat with an appropriate insecticide as needed. Also, keep an eye out for diseases such as root rot, which can occur if the soil is too wet, as explained above.

By following these tips, you can keep your bougainvillea plant healthy and blooming for years to come!

bougainvillea not Thriving FAQs

Q: Can Bougainvillea Thrive In Subzero Temperatures?

Tropical and subtropical in origin, bougainvillea plants enjoy warm climates.

They cannot endure below-freezing temperatures, and exposure to extended cold weather may hinder their growth.

Q: How Much Water Do Bougainvillea Plants Require?

Although they can endure brief periods of drought, bougainvillea plants like to be tended on the drier side.

To prevent the soil from drying up entirely, they could require more frequent irrigation during hot and dry spells.

Q: How Might I Grow Bougainvillea?

Bougainvillea could be multiplied by layering or by using stem cuttings. In the spring or summertime, strong, established plants should be used to cut stems approximately six inches in length.

They must be rooted in potting soil that drains well and is kept moist until they form roots. By layering, a stem is lowered to the bottom and covered with soil.

Where the stem comes into contact with the earth, it will form roots, which will allow the stem to be cut off from the mother plant.

Wrapping It Up

Well, over 300 different cultivars of Bougainvillea are available now, and they come in a variety of hues, including pink, red, orange, purple, and white.

Because they may develop into enormous shrubs or climbing vines that cover walls, fences, and trellises with their exquisite blossoms, bougainvillea plants are frequently employed in landscaping.

If the Bougainvillea is not growing, it may be because of the above reasons, so avoid these mistakes when you care for the Bougainvillea.