Question: bougainvillea

I have two bougainvilleas in two large luxuriant vases but for two years they have not made flowers. They continue to make new jets without ever blossoming. What should I do. Thanks for your attention. Rosanna

Answer: bougainvillea

Dear Rosanna,
the bougainvillea are climbing planes now typical of the Mediterranean areas, even if they are native to Brazil; to see them in bloom unfortunately they need to be cultivated in the best way, besides being in the ideal position; otherwise they vegetate, even very well, but do not produce flowers. The first thing they need is the full sun, as many hours as possible of direct sunlight, or otherwise, even if present, the flowering will be scarce and inconspicuous. In addition to this, the soil of the vessel in which I am must always be fertile; for this purpose, from March to September, regularly provide (every 12-15 days) a fertilizer for flowering plants, rich in potassium and microelements; if you often forget the fertilizer, then you prefer a slow release granular fertilizer, which you will provide every 4 months, a couple of handfuls per pot should suffice: spread it well and hoe the soil. If the soil of the vase then tends to harden and become a hard block, it should be replaced, all or at least the first 15-20 centimeters on the surface, with fresh and rich soil. Watering is quite important, but consider that the bougainvillea do not like the excesses of water, and tolerate drought without problems, so water only when the soil is very dry. A good pruning favors the development of many flowers: in February it shortens the longer and more vigorous branches, and removes the damaged or too small branches, so as to favor the development of new healthy branches. Even the wind is a magnet for bougainvillea, and in fact often we see specimens full of flowers, placed in sheltered places, leaning against a wall or a trellis. Often the flowering is directly influenced by the winter conditions of the plant: if in the winter months your plants have suffered a lot, due to the cold or the drought, then in spring they will be completely engaged to restore the health of the foliage and to produce new shoots; for this reason they do not have sufficient energy to produce flowers; therefore also in the winter months try to remember to water the plants, in the periods in which the climate is quite mild and very dry, and if the frosts are intense cover them with non-woven fabric. If your bougainvillea lose their leaves during the winter months, and live in an area with mild winters, it probably means that watering is too scarce.