Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bougainvillea 'Imperial Delight'


Bougainvillea 'Imperial Delight'

When Romie and I went to Florida in March, we bought a bougainvillea at Home Depot and brought it home on the plane. It had some blooms on it at the time, but it quickly dropped those once we got it home. In the spring, when it was good and warm outside, I planted it in the ground. About a month ago, it let me know that it was quite happy living in our gardens for the summer, and erupted in a profusion of bloom.

Bougainvillea is only hardy to zone 9, where it generally blooms year round, with a rest of five to six weeks between bloom periods. It likes to be fed regularly, but if it's overwatered, it may not bloom and may die due to root rot. No wonder it's doing so well here this summer - it loves hot, dry conditions!

It is grown as a house plant in northern climates, but will only flower sporadically, depending on its access to a bright southern exposure, as well as refraining from overwatering. It's not really a vine, but its growth pattern resembles one somewhat and it's lovely spilling over the sides of a large container or clambering up a trellis.

The flower itself is of little consequence, but the papery bracts are what make bougainvillea so attractive. It comes in hot colors such as coral, magenta, and purple, as well as white-to-pink that you see here in 'Imperial Delight.'

In early fall, before the prediction of first frost, I'll transplant it back into its pot and move it inside for the winter.


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13 comments:

farmingfriends said...

What a beautiful flower and a great photograph. Your writing provides us with lots of handy tips and useful information. Thanks for sharing.
Sara from farmingfriends

Muum said...

love the bouganvillea! I've seen it growing over walls, like ivy, in California's central valley. It is lovely stuff.

Jocelyn said...

Those flowers are so beautiful! Lovely pictures, I would love to be able to grow that in Minnesota...although it would have to be indoors most of the time. Thanks for the great post!

Jean said...

Beautiful plant! I wish it grew here. Love it!

Laurie & Chris said...

Great plant and picture. Love the color. Have a nice day.

No Rain said...

The bougainvillea variety, "Imperial Delight," is one I've not seen. It is a lvely color, but I think more suited to cooler climes. "Barbara Karst" is the variety that everyone grows here in Arizona. It's a brilliant magenta--almost fluorescent. I wrote about it recently in my blog.

MrBrownThumb said...

Nice flower. Is that morning dew on the flowers?

happy GTS

Kylee said...

It probably is dew, MBT. I really don't recall.

It will be interesting to see what it does when I bring it inside for the winter this year.

Connie said...

What a lovely shade of pink! Just gorgeous.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

What a beautiful delicate colour on your bougainvillea. I don't think I've seen this colour before. Great idea to put it outside in the warm season and pop it back inside before the first frosts.

Wicked Gardener said...

What a gorgeous bougainvillea! Being on the 8/9 border, I’ve struggled with bougainvillea. It doesn’t quite die, but doesn’t bloom, not like it does just 45 minutes south. I can imagine that was an interesting flight home, with a thorny bougie on your lap. Was that to protect you from an screeching children that might be on the flight?

Nicole said...

A very lovely bougainvillea. I saw it at the garden center and was going to buy it but they didn't yet price it.

Anonymous said...

Nice choice in bougie - it's one of my favorites too!

It should also be noted that these wonderful plants are drought tolerant and bloom in conditions that would stress out most other plants.

We could all learn a lesson from the bougainvillea!

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