A bougainvillea plant is native to the rain forests of Brazil, Peru, and southern Argentina. Bougainvillea plants, with their thorny, woody, tropical vines, produce beautiful clusters of red, pink, orange, white, yellow, purple, and magenta paper-like bracts. The colorful bracts surround the actual flower, which is usually small and white. Bougainvillea flowers appear on branches 18″-20″ long. A Bougainvillie is a very poisonous plant and should be kept way from small children and pets. Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants Once used primarily as an outdoor plant, a Bougainvillea is now commonly used as spectacular looking indoor plant.
Reddish- brown spots on the leaves of a Bougainvillea Plant usually indicate a fungus infection like Leaf Spot Disease. Fungal plant diseases are caused by high humidity or water staying on the leaves of a Bougainvillea Plant. Cutting off the diseased leaves, providing good air circulation around your Bougainvillea plant, keeping the leaves dry, and using a Fungicide are the best ways to treat a fungal plant disease.
Incorrect watering is why a Bougainvillea Plant loses leaves and never gets flowers. Allow at least the top 35% of the soil to dry out before watering a Bougainvillea or even wait until the leaves start to droop. Allowing the soil of a Bougainvillea to dry out helps the plant bloom. When you water a Bougainvillea Plant, water well enough so that the water drains out the bottom drip holes. Frequent light waterings only encourage a weak root system.
A Bougainvillea Plant needs the following things in order to bloom: 5-6 hours of direct sun; rich fertile soil that is kept on the dry side; plant food made especially for Bougainvillea or Hibiscus Plants, aggressive pruning every year, pots that are large but still small enough to allow the Bougainvillea Plant to become root- bound.
Drooping leaves on a Bougainvillea Plant when the soil is wet is an indication of root rot due to over-watering.
A light frost shouldn’t kill a Bougainvillea Plant, but most of the leaves and colorful bracts will probably fall off. A Bougainvillea should start to grow again if you move it inside and keep the temperature above 50 degrees.