Monday 23 December 2013

My gravity defying bougainvillea

Christmas post.

Will our bougainvillea festoon our conservatory roof this Christmas?

Last year I posted about the bougainvillea in our conservatory. Since then the conservatory has a acquired a new well insulated white sloping roof replacing the old rigid plastic.
Anchored to the vertical wall our bougainvillea is now reaching out into space. Hugging the slope of the roof, it’s heavy top has no means of support and the unsupported growth is now more than a meter long! 

A little precarious

It’s quite amazing how a stem thickens and strengthens to support itself in response to the stimulus of environmental stresses. The other thing worth a mention is that it is growing away from the window towards the middle of the room. It is growing towards light. There is more light directly in front of the large window than  in its own dark corner. 

Grows towards middle
It is destined to drop down! At the moment it looks absolutely magnificent. The big question is when thirteen of us sit down in the conservatory for our Christmas dinner will we be beneath it. Two days to go!


  1. Hi Roger, this still looks amazing, nice Blog Post
    Cathi said you think your Goole search box isn't working, well it is, and working very well
    Have a super Christmas you Brenda and Poppy, warm regards Po

    1. Thanks for fixing it, Po. I am still on my learning curve and did not even know that the top left little box found complete posts!
      Cathi came round to give me the good news - I have been using the large box at the bottom that should find references to posts - as of course you know - but that does still not seem to work.
      Have a great Christmas yourselves

  2. My Blogger search isn't working yet either - no doubt Blogger techies will fix it eventually! Could you fix a wire across the support the bougainvillea. It looks lovely

    1. It is looking even more sturdy at the base now Sue and the flowers ('bracts' - as I know you know) are just fading a little. We have just made it for Christmas dinner and it will then be getting a light pruning!

  3. It looks spectacular. What would you say is the secret to have them bloom like this? I have a friend who has a large bougainvillia who has been doing beautifully for years, except that it does not bloom.

    1. Read my link at the top of the post Alain (and thanks for the prompt). Seriously I think your friends plant might not have enough light or even it might not have the constitution to flower in the light levels where you are - it might be a cutting from the tropics - although I have never heard this to be a problem.
      My post is a little disingenuous because when Christmas is passed I will be pruning it back somewhat and it tends to enter a semi dormant period losing some of its leaves for a couple of months

    2. For two months of the year (February and March) I take care of her houseplants. That variegated bougainvillea is in a sunroom, a kind of conservatory - so lots of light. It has not be repoted for many years (at least 6 or 7). Perhaps that is the problem. It is quite large and watering it is a big job, You have to climb on a step ladder, take it down, water it and hang it back and it weighs a ton.

    3. I like the variegated one although it does not seem to flower as well as the green. I wonder if you friend prunes the plant, my best flowers are on strong new growth.


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