How to Grow Bougainvillea vines?
Bougainvillaea is one of the most popular tropical perennial flowering shrub as well as a climber it has been discovered by Philibert Commerson French botanist in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 1760s. The name Bougainvillaea was named after his friend sailor Louis de Bougainville. It is believed to be native of South America. It was introduced into India from Europe in 1860
Because of its versatile nature of growth, it is easy to grow in pots, like a shrub or vine, bush, creeper, arch, pergola, ground cover, etc. It provides masses of color alongside the roads and on-road divider, in parks and gardens, and also the private residences. Due to its hardy nature and its ability to grow under adverse conditions such as drought and pollution conditions its use in landscaping all over the country is fast increasing. It is fascinating for its colorful, attractive bracts. It flowers almost throughout the year except in the rainy season and in very severe winter.
With its sharp thick thorns, it is avoided by cattle, goats, monkeys, and even birds. It loves open sunshine and the colors of some varieties grow brighter and more attractive in a hot dry climate. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.
Out of several species, four species namely ;
Bougainvillaea peruviana , B.glabra, B.buttiana, and B.Spectabilis are responsible for the evolution of a large number of varieties through hybridization, mutation and bud sports. It belongs to family Nyctaginaceae.
Varieties of Bougainvillea ;
For climber — Dr. R.R. Pal, Mary Palmer, Partha, Shubhra, Chitra.
For Hedge – Thimma, Partha, Dr. R.R. Pal, Mrs. H.C. Buck.
For Standard – Mahatma Gandhi, Begum Sikander, Shubhra, Formosa.
For Pot – Mary Palmer special, Begum Sikander, Cherry Blossom Dr R. R. Pal, Spring Festival, Cypheri, Sanderiana.
Propagation of Bougainvillea Vines ;
The technique of being adopted for propagation would largely depend on the variety. There are several varieties which are easily multiplied by cuttings, but variety like Thimma which is difficult to root has to be propagated by layering or budding. Dr.R.R. Pal is the best variety for rootstock in case of budding. This variety got multiplied faster by cutting.
The best time for cutting and layering is during July-August (rainy season). Budding may be done during March-April and July-August. Shield or ‘T’ budding is a suitable method. It can also be multiplied by seeds for obtaining new varieties. However, all varieties do not set seeds. Seed setting is better in Bangalore and Hyderabad than in Delhi and Punjab. Varieties like Farmosa and Trinidad set seeds properly.
Pruning of Bougainvillea ;
It is essential to keep the growth in check and to induce flowering. The ant of pruning depends on the variety and use.
The plants planted in groups are cut every year at the end of June to a 10 of July to the desired size and should be repeated every year to maintain proper shape and size For a hedge purpose, plants are trimmed regularly at the top and sides to make it compact. Pruning enhances the new shoot’s growth more particularly in potted plants. In the pots, only 4-5 main shoots growing out are retained at 20 to 45 cm length depending on the vigour of the varieties. Flowering in bougainvillaea generally occurs on new growth towards the tip of the new branch and therefore removal of new drooping branches are to be avoided for obtaining more flowers.
Irrigation in Bougainvillea Vines ;
Bougainvillaea tolerates drying and if possible irrigation should be adjusted to be a little on the dry side. They are sensitive to overwatering but should not be allowed to completely dry out.
Manuring in Bougainvillea Vines ;
There is hardly any requirement of nutrients except in the cases of plants showing yellow leaves or stunted growth. For healthy growth, nitrogenous fertilizers are top dressed. A fertilizer mixture of ammonium sulphate, superphosphate and potassium sulphate in the ratio of 1:3:2 at the rate of 250 gm per grown-up plants gives good result.
For best results, use organic fertilizer amendments or controlled-release fertilizers to moderate nitrogen release. At planting, amend the soil with a fertilizer high in phosphate. For long-term culture, topdressing with a controlled-release fertilizer is needed. Do not overfertilize. Too much fertilizer will promote vegetative growth and inhibit looming. Applications of soluble minor elements help prevent leaf chlorosis. Micronutrient applications can be half the recommended rate, twice a year.
Use of Growth retardant. Maximum growth retardation was recorded with 800 ppm CCC while the increase in the number of bracts was found at 4000 ppm cycocel (CCC).