Culture - Bougainvilleas grow in USDA hardiness zones 9 to11; however, a majority of the species are confined to only the warmest zones. "Why won't my bougainvillea bloom?," is perhaps the most frequently asked question among gardeners. My bougainvillea seems to be wilting (not drying) and turning black. Why is My Bougainvillea Dying? Frost can cause portions of the plant, or the entire plant, to wither and turn black. I see yours are outside, so try cutting them back and check the trunk for bright light green new growth. I personally water my potted bougainvilleas once every week during the Spring and Summer and find this is the ideal balance to meet the moisture requirements and also stimulate blooms. So my yard went through 6 years of complete neglect after my grandma died... what ever was left has managed to survive in clay soil, and SoCal's weather for six years. I thought I’d lost it but I cut it back and it’s got lots of new growth. A dying bougainvillea is often due to over watering, slow draining soils and cold temperatures. It is potted and in an Unheated sun room. Select a species well-adapted to your particular USDA hardiness zones. It had no leaves or blooms and they felt it was dying and gave up on it. I was reading in a blog, not long ago, where someone had purchased a bougainvillea. If you fear for your shrub, tell if your bougainvillea is dead by assessing the foliage of the plant. I am from the Bay area, zone 9B. See how my Bougainvillea glabra looks in the middle of winter: The other reason why yellow leaves fall off of Bougainvilleas in winter is due to a prolonged dry spell. Bougainvillea loopers have many natural predators, such as birds and omnivorous animals. All of our plants did great, including hydrangeas, Jasmine, vincas, and a potted bougainvillea, etc., but the Mandevilla did terribly. I would think that in your climate, you could overwinter a bougainvillea safely outside without fear of freezing to death. My bougainvillea got frosted this year. This is the first year this happened. In my experience, bougainvillea thrives if given a cool dormant period. Even with natural predators, bougainvillea loopers can sometimes multiply faster than the predators can eat. Most people cut it way back in the fall, and keep it in a garage, basement, or porch (as long as it is not too cold) for the season. They do not tolerate frost. Why is My Bougainvillea Dying? Bougainvillea bracts are the specialised pink leaves with the delicate flowering in between. Attracting these animals to your yard can help keep the bougainvillea looper caterpillar population under control. The pink one died at some point, but the red survived. Although bougainvillea shrubs are sturdy plants that often withstand extensive abuse without showing signs of trauma, they do have a limit to the amount of stress they can tolerate and continue thriving. This bougainvillea has been here since the last 1.5 years and has done well in growing quickly (too quickly), but has bloomed sparsely at the tips. Bougainvillea, many say, color best when somewhat pot-bound. The last few winters haven’t been too cold here but they have been dry. And give it a good drink also. Before she died my grandma had planted two bougainvillea's, one red, and one light pink and white. We have gone away in past summers and came back to a totally thriving Mandevilla. It became what I refer to as "sticky". Hope this helps. A dying bougainvillea is often due to over watering, slow draining soils and cold temperatures.
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