Bougainvillea Plant, Barbados Pocket Guide


The bougainvillea plant is a popular ornamental plant that is often time used in Barbados as a beautiful barrier. These thorny, woody vines thrive best in  somewhat dry and fertile soil conditions and are known for literally stepping over anything that gets in the way of its growth.


Bougainvillea plants have a high salt tolerance, which makes it a natural choice for color along coastal regions such as the East Coast of Barbados. As a woody clambering vine, bougainvillea will stand alone and can be pruned into a standard but it is perfect along fence lines, on walls, in containers and hanging baskets and as a hedge or an accent plant. Its long arching branches are thorny, and bear heart-shaped leaves and masses of papery bracts in white, pink, orange, purple, and burgundy. The flowers of these plants are the small white bits that are surrounded by a variety of the afore-mentioned colours.


Bougainvillea plants in Barbados are relatively pest-free plants but may very well suffer at the hands of slugs and the Giant African Snail.


Bougainvillea in the Barbados Garden

Across Barbados, bougainvillea can be seen adorning the grounds of many homes and commercial buildings. Hotels, such as the Sandy Lane Hotel, are especially prime agents for the usage of this plant on their grounds.


The absolute beauty in the bougainvillea plant is found in its cascading ability. Bougainvilleas are exceptionally hardy and require little maintenance but it does require pruning the stems and wilted flowers to keep it in shape. Pruning also promotes the greatest growth and ensures maximum bloom. You can use a secateurs, or a pair of gardening scissors to do the work. You can even sue your finger to pinch the ends off, especially the wilted flowers from the stems to promote further flowering. The plant would respond by giving out a few new young stems just below the area being pinched and more flowers to adorn those stems.


Care and Fertilisation

Bougainvillea plants have rather elicate root systems and as a result are quite susceptible to root damage. Ideal fertilisers are high in iron and other micronutrients as these enable brilliant blooms. Bougainvilleas rely on a regular source of micronutrients to be able to produce dazzling blooms.


Bougainvillea plants are not fond of soggy environments and so it is recommended that they are planted in areas where optimal drainage can occur. Despite this, it is recommended that the plant be watered daily to allow for a well soaked but not drenched surface as this will cause root damage and ultimately death of the plant. If the bougainvillea plant is to be planted in a pot, the pot pan should be removed for ultimate drainage.


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